Preview: 2024 Amateur Championships of WA

11th Mar 2024

WA Amateur Championship

The Western Australian Golf Club will stage the 104th Amateur Championships of WA this week, with a number of the nation’s foremost rising talents hoping to write themselves into the history books.

Commencing on Wednesday, and played over 36 holes of stroke play qualifying ahead of knockout match play rounds, the concurrent men’s and women’s championships are the most highly regarded titles in WA amateur golf – and boast a suitably star-studded roll of honour.

Amongst the high-profile past men’s champions are Terry Gale (1969, 72, 74-75), Graham Marsh (1967), Craig Parry (1984-85) and Stephen Leaney (1992), while more recent titleholders include established tour pros Jason Scrivener (2009), Curtis Luck (2014), Min Woo Lee (2015, 17) and Aldrich Potgeiter (2021).

In the women’s game, blue ribbon champions include Minjee Lee (2010-11, 13), Kirsten Rudgeley (2017, 19-20), Jess Speechley (2009) and Jess Whitting (2016).

The defending champions are teen sensation Ollie Marsh (Wanneroo GC) and Abbie Teasdale (Royal Fremantle GC).

WA Amateur Championship past winners

Past champions Minjee Lee, Brady Watt, Curtis Luck, Jess Whitting, Kirsten Rudgeley, Min Woo Lee, Aldrich Potgeiter


Who might contend at WAGC?

Match play golf is notoriously hard to predict, so any of the 16 women and 32 men who progress to the knockout rounds could conceivably be a state champion come Sunday evening.

Looking more closely at the formbook and performances in big events does suggest some likely candidates, however, with the men’s draw potentially awash with contenders.

With home course advantage, 18-year-old Joseph Buttress will be a threat, as will Mount Lawley’s Jordan Doull, who has been a fixture at the upper end of leaderboards in national and state events for several months.

With the greens at WAGC likely to be firm and fast, players who hit it long and high will have an advantage, paving the way for the likes of Josiah Edwards (Gosnells GC, the 2022 championship runner-up) to put up a spirited run.

Reigning champion Ollie Marsh can’t be ruled out, either. As he proved on his march to victory in 2023, what the teenager lacks in distance off the tee he more than makes up for with his short game and putting prowess. Few players in the field are better scramblers than Marsh and his uncanny ability to conjure up magic around the greens makes him a dispiriting match play opponent.

In terms of a dark horse, Cottesloe GC’s Michael Hanrahan Smith could be one to watch. The popular player returned from a long injury layoff to land the Mandurah Open Amateur last spring and is fresh from a runner-up finish behind Doull at last week’s Albany Classic.

Jordan Doull

Jordan Doull has been WA’s in-form player for the past six months


In the women’s event, defending champion Abbie Teasdale remains WA’s leading player and will be the hot favourite to win her third state title.

Teasdale was in imperious form throughout the 2023 championship and only last week set a new course record en route to a 13-stroke victory in the Albany Classic. However, as she works on ironing out some swing changes, Teasdale may be more vulnerable than usual in the crucible of match play golf.

If not Teasdale, the strongest contenders on paper are Mount Lawley duo Erina Tan and Isabella Leniartek. Tan finished as runner-up to Teasdale in the 2023 WA Amateur, before going on to land the state junior title later in the year. She also excelled at the match play Junior Interstate Teams Matches last April.

Leniartek, meanwhile, has seen her profile soar in the last 12 months with a highlight being her breakthrough victory at the Cobra Puma Junior Championship at WAGC last July. She loves the course and will fancy her chances of a good run.

Elsewhere, 2021 winner Amie Phobubpa (Joondalup CC) is showing signs of returning to her best after an unspectacular year, while Gosnells’ Sasha Hofman will be a dangerous opponent if she makes the match play rounds.

Hofman hasn’t played much top-level competitive golf in recent years but when she does, she tends to go well, notably in a T7th finish at the 2023 Bowra & O’Dea Women’s Classic, which was held at WAGC.

Erina Tan

2023 Women’s WA Amateur runner-up Erin Tan will hope to go one better at WAGC


Whoever ends up at the top of the tree Sunday will be well rewarded. As well as the prestige of victory, the winners, runners-up and stroke play medallists in both men’s and women’s events will earn exemptions into the 2024 WA Open, which takes place at Mandurah Country Club in October.

You’ll be able to keep up with the WA Amateur scoring here from Wednesday to Sunday. Spectators are very welcome.

WAGC Golf Operations Manager, Nicole Martino, talks through the crucial holes at this year’s championship that may have a major bearing on whose names end up on the silverware.