Western Australian Amateur: Amanda Gan and George Barclay secure wins
Amanda Gan and George Barclay (Golf Australia Photo)
Amanda Gan and George Barclay (Golf Australia Photo)

George Barclay and Amanda Gan overcame resolute opposition to become the 2024 WA Amateur champions at The Western Australian Golf Club.

Joondalup Country Club’s Barclay was occasionally brilliant and always solid against Spencer Harrison to record a 5&3 victory, while Gan barely put a foot wrong en route to a 4&3 win over Mount Lawley clubmate Ruby Cotton.

The form of Royal Perth’s Harrison had been the talk of the week after the 15-year-old defeated top seed Connor Fewkes in the matchplay last 16, beat defending champion Ollie Marsh in the quarters and raced to a swift win over Simon Liddell in Saturday’s semi-final.

Eighteen-year-old Barclay, however, was also enjoying his best run at the championship and refused to be rattled when Harrison opened up a two-hole advantage after three.

Continuing to play the percentage golf that had seen him safely through some tricky match-play encounters, Barclay reeled Harrison in and took the lead at the seventh.

At the halfway stage he had extended his advantage to three holes and, try as he might, Harrison was never able to seriously threaten that lead during the second 18.

The match ended on the 15th green – the 33rd hole of the final – after Barclay played a magnificent approach to five feet to leave Harrison with no way back.

The easy-going Barclay was delighted to bag the biggest title of his career, which he hopes will help elevate his game to new levels.

“This means heaps. It’s good to get back in the winners’ circle, and it’s definitely going to give me a lot of confidence about my game,” he told GolfWA.

“It was good fun out there today. Me and Spencer had a good little battle going, but I just stuck to my game plan and struck solid shots all day.”

Despite disappointment at not closing out the championship, Harrison earned plaudits throughout the week for the quality of his golf and a maturity beyond his years. His time will surely come.

“I struck the ball as well as I have all week, but the putts that were dropping yesterday lipped out today,” he said.

“I’m still happy with the week, regardless. Reaching the final is beyond what I was expecting and this will give me a lot of confidence, just knowing I can compete with the best in WA at the big events.”

Gan completes perfect week

Having led the field through the strokeplay qualifying rounds, it was a wire-to-wire victory for 17-year-old Gan in the women’s event, although she didn’t have it all her own way against Cotton, who produced some of the best golf of her career to reach the final.

Indeed, Cotton led the match during the front nine of the morning round – the first time Gan had found herself behind in any of the match play rounds.

Although the lead switched hands a few times early on, Gan pulled away over the last holes of the morning round – helped by some sensational approach play – to go into the lunch break 3up.

Despite Cotton’s best efforts, it was a lead Gan would not relinquish. And although Cotton kept the match alive with a superb up-and-down on the 14th hole of the afternoon round it only prolonged the inevitable as Gan closed out the match 4&3 on the 15th green after another sublime short-iron approach.

“Just about everything went right for me today,” a beaming Gan told GolfWA.

“My wedges were working pretty well and I stuck it close a few times when I really needed to, which helped massively.”

On the most significant win of her career to date, Gan added: “This means so much to me. To know my name will be on the trophy alongside so many other great players is such an honour and I’m really happy about that.”

For 18-year-old Cotton, the sting of defeat was offset by the knowledge that she had performed to the best of her ability.

“If you’d told me at the start of the week that I’d make the final and be runner-up I’d have been stoked, so I’m pretty happy and proud of the way I played this week,” she said.

“My putting wasn’t too good today. I worked so hard this week and did all I could but Amanda played so well and I’m really happy for her.”

The 2024 Amateur Championships also incorporated the Mid-Amateur for golfers over the age of 30, with the winners decided on the best scores from eligible players in the 36-hole stroke play qualifying rounds.

The respective men’s and women’s Mid-Amateur titles went to Daniel Holzwart and Amanda Hurren of Rockingham Golf Club.

Results: Western Australia Amateur
WinAustraliaGeorge BarclayAustralia300
Runner-upAustraliaSpencer HarrisonAustralia200
SemifinalsAustraliaSimon LiddellAustralia100
SemifinalsAustraliaRyan GaultAustralia100
QuarterfinalsAustraliaOllie MarshAustralia50

View full results for Western Australia Amateur

ABOUT THE Western Australia Amateur

The Western Australia (WA) Amateur is for men and women amateurs of any age, and is played over 36-holes stroke play with the top 32 men and top 16 women qualifying for the match play rounds.

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