A damp Lakelands Country Club greeted the elite field of qualifiers this morning for the first rounds of the match play section of this year’s Amateur Championship of WA. The top 32 men and 16 women were led by medallist’s Kirsten Rudgeley from Mount Lawley Golf Club and Connor Fewkes from the Goldfields Golf Club.
Both members of the Golf WA’s High Performance are now proud owners of course records at the newly renovated Lakelands Country Club layout which is now finished the extensive re-modelling of the course orchestrated by the well known WA professional and course architect Terry Gale. Fewkes is the sole owner after adding a 7 under 65 yesterday to his 3 under first round but Rudgeley will have to share her 4 under record with her close rivals Amie Phobubpa (Joondalup) and Abbie Teasdale (Royal Fremantle).
Both the Men and Women sections battled through two rounds today and it was significant to note that the top four Women qualifiers after the 36 holes over Wednesday and Thursday won their respective matches throughout the day albeit there were some tense moments particularly for top qualifier Rudgeley, after being two up early was taken to the 18th hole by Sasha Hofman (Gosnells). Both players missed the green to the right for two at the short par 5 18th but Hofman just missed her birdie putt to pressure Rudgeley for the hole and the hole was halved in pars.
Other winners in the Women’s section Abbie Teasdale (Royal Fremantle), Amie Phobubpa (Joondalup) and Sheridan Clancy (Lake Karrinyup) through the semi-finals had easy results on the leaderboard but as we know with match play the results often mask the closeness of the matches.
In the Men’s section 6 out of the top 8 qualifiers made it through the first 2 rounds with only Tom Addy (Joondalup) falling to the inform Alex Maxwell (Royal Fremantle) 1 up and Joseph Owen (Lake Karrinyup) who fell to his club mate Simon Liddell also just 1 up.
The top six men had varied journeys into the last eight such as top qualifier Fewkes who only just scraped past 2019 Amateur Champion Azer Pehlic (WA Golf Club) on the 21st hole but was keen to get in the clubhouse in the afternoon round with a solid 6 and 5 result.
With the stroke play form seemingly carrying over to the early match play rounds it is hard to pick a favourite but it will be an intriguing battle for all players leading into the finals on Sunday.
Hope to see you on the course at Lakelands but if you cannot make it stay up to date with live scoring via the Amateur Championship of WA on our website.