Date: March 12, 2015
Author: Tom Fee, Golf WA

Day, Faulds hold early WA Amateur lead

2-under is the leading mark after Round 1 in both the Men’s and Women’s WA State Amateur Championships held at Hartfield Country Club.

Kiran Day of Cottesloe and Connor Faulds of Royal Fremantle lead in the Men’s and Hira Naveed holds a healthy three stroke advantage in the Women’s.

Day and Faulds are closely followed by Min Woo Lee on 1-under to be the only players under par.

The early favourites had a mixed round with Curtis Luck two back at even par and Jarryd Felton five back at 3-over.

Last year’s Women’s finalists Hannah Green and Hayley Bettencourt are four back of Naveed on 2-over with Royal Fremantle’s Angie Yang in outright second on 1-over.

Naveed’s post round mood may have been tempered by a makeable par putt minutes earlier however she was very pleased with her overall performance.

“It’s alright, it happens to everyone,” said Naveed as she then credited her short stick performance for her lead.

“I putted really well and I made a few up and down par saves so it’s what really worked for me today.”

I also dropped a 30 to 40 footer for birdie on the third which was good. The greens were really fast and that pin was tucked away.

I managed to go on and birdie the fourth so those were my highlights today.”

Men’s co-leader Kiran Day highlighted the importance of this week’s championships to WA’s elite golfers, as he looks for a boost in his world ranking to qualify for events in America later this year.

Currently the World Number 480, Day needs to be in the top 200 to earn exemptions and today’s start puts him on the right track.

“A good finish here will definitely help my world ranking. At the point I’m looking to get into the UK and play too. So this is a good start and I’m hoping to keep it going.”

Day really performed after the turn, going 3-under on the front nine, his final nine for the round.

“I struggled a bit early on but I was hitting it pretty well early.

I managed to make a couple birdies on the par-threes and took advantage of the last par-5. I knew I was hitting the ball well and I was thinking a good score was coming. I just had to stay patient and it turned out well.”

Similarly it was Connor Faulds’ second nine, in this case the back nine, in which he made his move after opening with three bogeys in his first five holes.

“I started off pretty scratchy, but I started making some putts and got the day going.

I made a birdie on 9 to get back to square and then got into a groove on the back and finished birdie, birdie.”

The late birdies came thanks to some good wedge-play from the Royal Fremantle member, hitting to 6ft on 17 and sinking the putt.

“I felt pretty confident heading down 18 on 1-under. I hit a good one down the middle on 18, laid up and hit a chip shot to a foot.”

Faulds’ rise early in the WA Amateur is timely on the back of his selection in the WA Junior State Team.

“[The selection] is a bit of a relief off my back because I don’t have the pressure now of state team selection. I can go out now and enjoy it.”

When reminded there’s still the Men’s State Team selections coming on the Sunday, Faulds wasn’t getting too far ahead of himself.

“Aw I suppose. There might be a chance but I’d probably have to win this week to be considered!”