Stage set for WA Amateur Championships

14th Mar 2023

2022 WA State Amateur Champions

Royal Fremantle will host this week’s Amateur Championships of WA, with a host of top talents hoping to write themselves into the history books.

Taking place from Wednesday to Sunday, the WA State Amateur features two stroke play qualifying rounds before the top 32 males and top 16 females progress to knock-out match play. The defending champions are Celine Chen (Joondalup CC), who clinched the 2022 women’s title by beating clubmate Mia Lawson 4&2 in the 36-hole final; and Adam Hatch (Royal Fremantle), who won the men’s event after edging out 14-year-old Gosnells member Josiah Edwards 2&1.

Amongst the favourites for the men’s event are Joseph Buttress (WAGC), Joseph Owen (Lake Karrinyup) and Josh Greer (Joondalup), while the prospect of home-club favourite Adam Hatch going back to back in the event cannot be discounted.

In the women’s contest, expect the in-form Celine Chen to put up a spirited defence of her trophy, although fellow junior players Jorja Hinson-Tolchard (Gosnells), and Mount Lawley quartet Amanda Gan, Valerie Khuu, Erina Tan and Isabella Leniartek, as well as 2021 champion Amie Phobubpa, all have the ability to have their names etched on the trophy.

Royal Fremantle’s own Abbie Teasdale is also likely to be in the mix after a strong start to 2023 that has seen her capture the Concord Cup in NSW, as well as represent Australia in the Women’s Amateur Asia Pacific. As is so often the case in match play golf, though, the divides between success and failure are very slender, making this one of the most unpredictable events of the season.

Beyond winning the championship itself, there is plenty of incentive for players to produce their best golf. The medallists from the stroke play rounds, as well as the overall winners and runners-up, all receive exemptions into the WA Open, which takes place this year at Joondalup Resort from 12-15 October.

History in the making

The oldest 18-hole course in Western Australia, golf has been played on the Royal Fremantle site since 1906, although it didn’t earn the ‘Royal’ prefix until 1930. A course renowned for its tight, tree-lined fairways and numerous doglegs, accuracy off the tee is essential to success. The undulating fairways will test players with numerous uphill and downhill lies to contend with, while fast greens place an onus on ball control and an assured putting touch.

The Amateur Championships of WA, meanwhile, have been contested since before the First World War, with the first women’s championship taking place in 1910 and the first men’s a year later. Amongst the past winners are two-time women’s Major champion Minjee Lee (2010, ’11, ’13) and recently turned professional Kirsten Rudgeley (2017, ’19, ’20).

In the men’s event, the roll of honour includes Terry Gale (1969, ’72, ’74, ’75), Stephen Leaney (1992), Jarrod Moseley (1994), Craig Parry (1984-85), Jason Scrivener (2009), Min Woo Lee (2015, ’17) and Hayden Hopewell (2020).

Live scoring for this year’s event will be viewable here. Spectators are very welcome, and there is no charge to attend.

2023 Amateur Championships of WA – at a glance

Dates: March 15-19, 2023
Venue: Royal Fremantle Golf Club
Par: 72 for men; 73 for women
Format: 36 holes of stroke play qualifying. Top 32 men and top 16 women progress to knock-out match play rounds
Final: Played over 36 holes on Sunday, March 19
Defending champions: Celine Chen (Women’s); Adam Hatch (Men’s)

The current women’s and men’s State Championship trophies

You’ll be able to keep up with the latest from the WA Amateur Championship via our news section, or through our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.