WA Open – seven local players to watch out for

28th Sep 2023

WA Open

Attendees at the Nexus Advisernet Bowra & O’Dea WA Open from October 5-8 will be spoilt for choice for who to follow, with a host of Australia’s top professionals and elite amateurs teeing it up.

With 122 players in the field for the first two rounds, there will be quality everywhere you look – including a number of Western Australians looking to make a run on the state Open title.

The unpredictable nature of golf makes calling a winner extremely difficult, but here we identify seven candidates with a realistic shot of adding another local name to the WA Open’s roll of honour.

Tom Addy (am)

Homeclub favourite Addy has enjoyed an impressive 2023, reaching the final of the WA Amateur Championship and making his WA debut in the Australian Interstate Teams matches. His most relevant accolade, however, was victory at May’s Joondalup Resort Classic, where Addy bested a field of tour-hardened professionals in posting a winning 10-under-par 36-hole total.

Granted, it’s a much bigger ask for an amateur to produce their very best for four days straight, but if Addy is on-song he has a great opportunity to further enhance his burgeoning reputation – and he certainly won’t lack support on his home track.

Braden Becker

Braden Becker WA OpenThe most recent home winner of the WA Open, Mandurah-based Becker clinched the COVID-delayed 2021 championship in April of last year by a single stroke from Hayden Hopewell.

it remains Becker’s sole PGA Tour of Australasia victory, although he has been prolific in the shorter-format adidas PGA Pro-Am series of events around WA in recent seasons. If he can string four good rounds together, there’s no reason why Becker can’t contend – although his form on tour has been inconsistent over the past 18 months.

Jarryd Felton

Jarryd FeltonNow 28, Felton has four wins on the PGA Tour of Australasia since turning pro in 2015 – including a notable one-stroke victory over Brett Rumford to land the 2020 WA PGA title at Kalgoorlie Golf Course.

His most recent title came at the TPS Sydney in March of 2022 and despite some indifferent form since then, Felton again went close at the 2022 WA PGA and certainly has the chops to be in the mix at Joondalup come business end of proceedings.

Josh Greer

A stalwart of the WA state team for several years, as well as an Australia international, Joondalup CC’s Greer decided to take the professional plunge just last month after he earned his card for the PGA Tour of Australasia at Q-School in April.

Although he missed the cut on his pro debut at the Northern Territory PGA, Greer has plenty of experience of playing in professional events and can count on enthusiastic support from within the club membership. A victory this early in his professional career is a lot to ask, but stranger things have certainly happened.

Hayden Hopewell

The Royal Fremantle product created quite a stir when landing the 2020 WA Open while still an amateur. His birdie-birdie finish at his home club saw Hopewell edge out Haydn Barron by one stroke during a three-year hot streak in the event that saw him finish no lower than second between 2019-2021.

The WA and Australian representative turned pro at the end of last year and while his rookie season on the PGA Tour of Australasia may have lacked fireworks, Hopewell is a class act who has all the goods required to be a contender in one of his favourite events.

Connor McKinney

Another local lad, Joondalup’s McKinney has shown some glimpses of his great potential in recent months, qualifying for the Open Championship and achieving a top-5 finish at the Kaskada Golf Challenge on the European Challenge Tour.

Having also breezed through the first round of DP World Tour Qualifying School in early September, former WA and Australia amateur representative McKinney looks to be in strong form, which augurs well for his chances of making an impression here.

Brett Rumford

A colossus of WA golf, Rumford may spend more of his time coaching nowadays but he’s still no slouch when competing against his fellow pros as he proved by winning the 2023 Cottesloe Open.

A winner of nine tour titles around the world, including six on the European Tour between 2003 and 2017, the 46-year-old may yet add to the sole WA Open title he claimed back in 2005. At the very least, simply watching Rumford play is sure to provide some meaningful short-game inspiration to any club golfer.

Of course, there’s plenty more WA interest in the field. You can view the full entry list for the 2023 Nexus Advisernet Bowra & O’Dea WA Open here.

The championship takes place at Joondalup Resort & Country Club from October 5-8. Entry is free for spectators. The closing two rounds will be televised live on Fox Sports, Kayo and SportNZ between 1.30pm-4.30pm AWST on Saturday, October 7, and between 11.30am-4.30pm on Sunday, October 8.

You’ll also be able to follow the action through the GolfWA Facebook and Instagram pages.

Image credits: Getty Images/Australian Golf Media/Joondalup Resort


 

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