Date: March 25, 2018
Author: Elliot Raiter, Golf WA

Thrilling finale set for Perth

The Bowra & O’Dea Women’s Classic will boast one of the strongest fields in recent history this week, with five of the top 10 Australian Amateurs gearing up for the event at Perth's Cottesloe Golf Club.

The competition has moved to Cottesloe this year having previously been at Lake Karrinyup Country Club, with defending champion Becky Kay (QLD), Stephanie Bunque (VIC) and Doey Choi (NSW) all making the trip west.

Gold Coaster Kay enters the tournament nominal favourite after a phenomenal fortnight which has yielded victories at the Riversdale Cup in Melbourne and Rene Erichsen Salver in Adelaide. The No.2 Australian amateur will be looking for back-to-back titles in Perth, as she chases the No.1 mantle held by Grace Kim.

West Australian youngsters Kirsten Rudgeley, Maddison Hinson-Tolchard and Georgia Shears are confident of a strong showing, with Cottesloe presenting a chance to score well over the three-day tournament.

The stroke play event will be played over 72-holes, with national ranking points up for grabs as the coveted Karrie Webb Series comes to a tense conclusion.

Hinson-Tolchard has taken time away from the sport after a busy opening to the season, but the Gosnells is back to challenge for the title.

“I am definitely looking forward to it,” Hinson-Tolchard said. “I really like Cottesloe; it’s one of my favourite golf courses in WA.”

“Having a break has been really good for me, I feel fresh and ready to go.”

During her time away, the junior state team captain took on the role of caddie for good friend and WA Amateur winner Abbie Teasdale, lapping up every moment of Teasdale’s breakthrough victory.

“Taking a break was really hard for me but being out there with Abbie, I felt like I was still part of it, and really enjoyed caddieing for her,” she said.

“She is one of my really good friends and I am glad she got the win.”

Hinson-Tolchard welcomes the talented field of players for the event, believing that her experience against playing the nation’s best holds her in good stead for a chance at the crown.

“I have played against those girls for a couple of years and there always good competition,” she said.

“I feel like I have a chance against them definitely, but playing in the field against them gives me a lot of confidence going into it.”

The Bowra & O’Dea begins a busy period in Perth, with the Australian Junior Amateur and Interstate Series being played in April.

“Interstate is always one of my favourite times of the year and I really enjoy playing the Aus Junior,” Hinson-Tolchard said.

“Being at home this year gives me a lot of confidence going into it.”

“I have played Royal Perth a lot of times, and I feel like the team this year is quite strong, we have a really good chance at contending for the title.”