WA Amateur wide open after first match play day

15th Mar 2024

2024 WA Amateur Championships

The WA Amateur Championship is wide open after several of the top seeds were ousted on a typically unpredictable day of match play golf.

In warm and humid conditions at WAGC, it was a physically and mentally demanding day, with successful players facing two rounds of 18-hole match play.

There were few surprises during the morning session, with most of the top seeds making serene progress into the women’s quarter-finals and the men’s last 16. It was a whole different story after lunch, though, with several fancied challengers falling to defeat and several more being pushed right to the wire.

The result of the day went to 15-year-old Royal Perth member Spencer Harrison, who scraped through his first-round match in a playoff before downing top seed Connor Fewkes in the afternoon.

A rapidly rising talent, Harrison was three up at the turn thanks to a hot putter and held firm as Fewkes came back at him on the back nine to close out a memorable 2&1 win.

Hear Spencer’s thoughts on his successful day below…

Fewkes wasn’t the only high-profile casualty of the afternoon. In a repeat of the 2022 men’s final, 4th seed Josiah Edwards (Gosnells GC) was beaten by the experienced Adam Hatch (Royal Fremantle), while another veteran – Lake Karrinyup’s Simon Liddell – withheld a withering Jordan Doull fightback to clinch their match 2UP on the 18th green.

Another contender who looked like facing an early exit was 2023 runner-up Tom Addy (Joondalup CC), who was two down late in his match against Rockingham GC’s Jakeb Dunkley before fighting back and winning at the first playoff hole.

That match was one of four men’s last 16 encounters to require extra holes. Defending champion Ollie Marsh (Wanneroo) was taken the distance by home club favourite Braedon Law before winning at the 19th, while Ken Gao (Mount Lawley) outlasted Rocco Cucchiara (Royal Freo) to win on the 20th.

Having won his first-round match in a playoff, Lake Karrinyup’s Ryan Gault needed 21 holes to see off a determined Christian Nicholls (Mount Lawley) – making it a gruelling total of 40 holes in one energy-sapping day for Gault. His reward is a quarter-final match against Gao on Saturday morning.

With the experienced duo of Hatch and Liddell matched against each other, the two other men’s QF ties see Joondalup team-mates Tom Addy and George Barclay going head-to-head, with teen stars Ollie Marsh and Spencer Harrison completing the draw.

Women’s championship too close to call

The major talking point in the women’s event was defending champion Abbie Teasdale’s quarter-final defeat at the hands of Joondalup’s Amie Phobubpa.

Phobubpa won the championship herself back in 2021 and appears to be approaching something like her best form after an indifferent 2023. Her 3&2 victory over state team-mate Teasdale certainly sends a statement of intent to her rivals.

Fifth seed Phobubpa will play Mount Lawley’s Amanda Gan in Saturday’s women’s semi-final after Gan – the stroke play medallist – overcame Jorja Hinson-Tolchard 3&2.

The second semi will be an all-Mount Lawley affair between Erina Tan and Ruby Cotton after both earned tough 2&1 victories over Aileen Sirait and Isabella Leniartek respectively.

Ruby Cotton

Ruby Cotton’s run to the semis is her best effort to date at the WA Amateur


Tan has experience at this stage of the tournament having reached the 2023 final, but reaching the semis represents Cotton’s best performance in the state amateur to date. The 18-year-old knows clubmate Tan’s game well and says she’s in confident mood heading into their showdown.

“I feel like I’m a really good match player, so I think I have a pretty good chance,” Cotton told GolfWA. “I’m driving it very well at the moment and making a lot of putts. I don’t try to play hero shots, I try to play quite safely in match play, so I’ll just be looking to play my normal game and we’ll see what happens.”

The men’s quarter-finals commence on Saturday morning at 7.30am, with the women’s semis following immediately behind. The men’s semi-finals will take place in the afternoon. Spectators are welcome and encouraged.

Women’s Semi-Final draw

Amanda Gan (1) vs Amie Phobubpa (5)
Erina Tan (2) vs Ruby Cotton (6)

Men’s Quarter-Final draw

Spencer Harrison (16) vs Ollie Marsh (8)
Adam Hatch (13) vs Simon Liddell (21)
Tom Addy (2) vs George Barclay (10)
Ken Gao (14) vs Ryan Gault (27)

You can view all the scores from today’s rounds here.

Ryan Gault

Ryan Gault played 40 holes of golf today, winning both his matches in playoffs