By Ned Haywood
A field of 51 players from across WA converged on Exmouth Golf Club to contest the 2023 Ladies Pilbara Open at the weekend.
Despite a cold easterly wind greeting players on the Saturday morning, the competition across all grades was red hot on both days of competition.
Despite her home track being some 1600km away, Denmark Country Club’s Lisa Morey was the big winner as she scored a magnificent victory in the open stroke play category.
Morey’s second round was particularly impressive as she blitzed round in 75 strokes – 10 shots better than her first-round score, and only a shot off matching the course record.
Her two-round 160 total was enough to grant Morey a seven-stroke margin of victory over Karratha GC’s Chelsea Broun, with home-club favourite Marie Hinkley a further three shots adrift. Broun and Hinkley were the respective winner and runner-up of the closed championship contested only by players from Pilbara-based clubs.
As well as the high-quality golf, there was plenty of fun to be had off the course with Saturday night’s Australiana-themed party enthusiastically supported by all players, with prizes awarded for the best and most creative costumes on display.
Exmouth GC captain Bron Giles – the first female captain of the club in its 55-year history – was delighted with the success of the event, saying: “All of the female members of the Pilbara clubs look forward to this event.
“It’s run differently from all the other golf tournaments in the region and is all about the ladies and making sure they have the best experience possible.”
The Ladies Pilbara Open was preceded by a range of GolfWA community coaching events in Exmouth, courtesy of a Regional Servicing Grant from the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.
The grant allowed PGA professional Rob Farley to deliver MyGolf coaching in schools, a Community Instructor training workshop, as well as free ‘Come and Try’ clinics for adults and children – all of which were very well received by the Exmouth community.
Ladies Pilbara Open results
Ladies A Stroke (Open) – Lisa Morey (Denmark GC, 160 gross)
Ladies A Stroke (Closed) – Chelsea Broun (Karratha GC, 167 gross)
Ladies A Stroke (Closed) Runner-up – Marie Hinkley (Exmouth GC, 170 gross)
Ladies A Nett – Julie Hourn (Exmouth GC, 143 nett)
Ladies B Stableford – Peta McHardy (Serpentine & Districts GC, 81 points)
Ladies C Stableford – Pat Hinchcliffe (Karratha GC, 78 points)
Best Costume – Karen Campbell for Les Patterson (Karratha GC)
Most Creative Costume – Karen O’Dea for Twisties costume (Exmouth GC)
The 2024 Ladies Pilbara Open will be held in Karratha and the theme for the Saturday night celebration will be ‘Hollywood’.