Cottesloe GC’s Michael Hanrahan-Smith and Victorian visitor Jazy Roberts produced the goods to lift the Sebel Mandurah Amateur Open trophies on Monday.
The 72-hole World Amateur Golf Ranking tournament is a blue ribbon event on the WA golfing schedule, attracting one of the strongest fields of the year – including representation from the eastern states in both the men’s and women’s competition.
Mandurah Country Club delivered a stern test over the three days of competition, with wind and rain placing the onus on patience and clean ball striking – ingredients Hanrahan-Smith and Roberts delivered in fine style.
Fresh from her top-five finish at the Bowra & O’Dea Women’s Classic, Belvoir Park GC’s Roberts was the runaway winner of the women’s championship, returning a two-under-par 72-hole total to win by seven strokes.
In the mix all week, Roberts held the halfway lead and never looked like relinquishing it on the final day despite the rigours of playing 36 holes in one day. She closed with rounds of 69 and 70 to keep the field at arm’s length, Joondalup CC’s Celine Chen claiming the runner-up spot ahead of Bowra & O’Dea champion Caitlin Peirce (SA).
“I felt like I hit it solid last week (at the Bowra & O’Dea) but just didn’t score as well as I would’ve liked,” Roberts told GolfWA. “I definitely scored better this week in what were some tough conditions over the weekend.”
Mount Lawley’s Isabella Leniartek had another great week in a breakthrough year finishing in fourth, while Erina Tan, Amanda Gan, Ruby Cotton and Sophie Williams (all Mount Lawley) were the other Western Australians to finish in the top 10.
In the men’s competition, Hanrahan-Smith produced a masterclass on the final day to overturn a five-shot deficit to 36-hole leader Joe Owen (Lake Karrinyup CC).
Hanrahan-Smith’s blemish-free five-under-par morning round of 66 included three birdies and an eagle moved him to within two of Owen going into Monday afternoon’s final 18. There, a further display of clinical ball-striking on his way to a two-under 69 propelled Hanrahan-Smith into the clubhouse lead at -6 for the championship.
A sensational up-and-down for birdie at 18 proved to be the clincher for Hanrahan-Smith, who ultimately pipped Queenslander Billy Dowling to the title by a single stroke.
Owen, meanwhile, slipped to a closing 75 to finish fifth behind Victorian duo Jasper Stubbs and Phoenix Campbell, while Joseph Buttress (WAGC) and Jordan Doull (Mount Lawley) continued their fine years as the other WA golfers in the top 10.
For GolfWA High Performance athlete Hanrahan-Smith, the victory has huge significance given that he has struggled with a wrist injury for much of the past 12 months. “It’s just awesome to play well again after what’s been a tough last year with my injury,” he told GolfWA.
“I hit it really solid all week and my short game was good in what were some really rough conditions. I’m stoked to sneak over the line at an event like the Mandurah Amateur. Hopefully, I can keep this good form going forward.”