Date: March 13, 2015
Author: Tom Fee, Golf WA

WA Amateur Medals go to Luck & Bettencourt

Last year’s WA Amateur Champions are this year’s Medalists after an action packed final round at Hartfield Country Club.

Mandurah’s Hayley Bettencourt turned a 4 shot deficit into a 5 shot victory over runner-ups Hira Naveed and Hannah Green, while Cottesloe’s Curtis Luck won with a birdie on the last.

Bettencourt was pleased with her game throughout the day as she focused on playing smart golf to secure the win.

“I played solid all day, but I had a couple of bogeys early from some fairly silly mistakes.

I thought about being smart and just having fun with the people I’m with, without thinking of the score.”

It was a vintage Bettencourt display with her short game on song, highlighted by a 120m approach on 16 that hit the flag and dropped for an easy birdie.

Crucially, Bettencourt has a much easier approach to the finals, avoiding the highly ranked golfers Hannah Green and Hira Naveed on the other side of the draw.

Luck’s comeback victory was on the back of a 2-under second round as leaders Kiran Day and Connor Faulds fell away in the middle of their rounds.

Luck held off a late charge from Min Woo Lee, who birdied the last to tie for the lead.

With the pressure on, Luck hit his drive on the par-5 18th tightly along the bend on the right hand side and hit his second just onto the green.

Needing two putts for victory, Luck was too strong on his eagle attempt, but sunk an 8-footer on the way back to secure the medal.

“It was an interesting day,” said Luck after his round.

“I was up and down on the course today. Hit a lot of good shots but struggled with my distance and putting. But saying that, it’s a win which is what I was looking for.”

In last year’s championships Luck looked comfoprtable  in the matchplay format, being able to make the low scores when it counted.  “I thrive in matchplay situations, usually. I’m a pretty aggressive strokeplayer so if I can bump that up and make a couple more birdies than I would on an average stroke day I’m in pretty good stead to do well.”

“Matchplay is a completely different game, we’ll see how we go.”

Leading into the back nine, a bogey on 11 sent Luck back down into the mix, but back to back birdies on 12 and 13 got him into the lead and back on track.

“That putt [on 12] got my head back into gear as I was struggling a little bit.”

Luck went on to hit the par-5 13th green in two and mdae birdie, a similar story of the the day on the par fives where he made birdie after earning eagle putts.

Facing elimination after a 3-over start, Jarryd Felton surged on the final day with a 69, the the best score over the two days.

Felton is seeded third behind Luck and Min Woo Lee, with Michael Dennis the 4th seed after finishing even par.

Mandurah’s Cooper Geddes is the youngest male at 13 years of age to qualify as the 6th seed in the matchplay.