FRESH from winning the World Sub Junior Golf Title in Thailand, Royal Fremantle Golf Club member Hayden Hopewell continued his good form to win the 2016 Rockingham Bowl.
Taking an instant liking to the course, Hayden scored freely with five birdies for the round.
Reaching the ninth tee, his last, onlookers felt that he had a great chance of equalling the course record of six-under 66.
A slightly errant tee shot meant that his second shot had to negotiate some trees in his line and he was unable to reach the green in regulation.
His third stroke was close to the pin but his par putt just slid past the hole and Hopewell scored his only bogey for the day to finish four-under par 68.
Christopher Thomson (Hartfield CC) finished second with 71 while Connor Bishop (Royal Fremantle GC) and Jose De Sousa (Gosnells GC) each scored 73.
The best first-round scores for Rockingham were Tom Lothian (74) and Robert Crabbe (76)
In the handicap division, the best scores for the first round were returned by Max Hasson (Rockingham) 67, James Dwyer (Royal Fremantle) 68 with Hopewell and Craig Leviston (Rockingham) tied for third place on 69.
The leading players started their second round in the afternoon of the second day’s play, again in ideal weather conditions.
Hopewell started confidently but some wayward shots seemed to sap his confidence and he bogeyed the third, fourth and sixth holes.
But he recovered with a birdie on the par-three eighth hole.
In the meantime, Thomson was scoring well and at the halfway mark he had drawn level to co-lead the tournament.
During the last nine holes, Hayden was able to steady while Thomson seemed to lose his way and fall behind.
De Sousa made a run at the lead but was unable to close the considerable gap he had allowed the leader on the first day.
De Sousa returned the best score of the second round (74) while Hopewell, Matthew Bowra (Lake Karrinyup CC), Robert Gibson (Mount Lawley) and Steve Miller (Rockingham) all scored three-over par 75.
Thomson birdied 13 but fell away late in his second round with three bogeys and two double bogeys to return a second round score of 77 while Bishop also had a difficult day to finish with 78.
The best Rockingham scores for the second round were Steve Miller (75) and John Soroka (76).
In the handicap division, Rockingham led the way with the best second-round scorers.
Adrian Thornton and Robert Olsan returned nett scores of 70, with Brad Best and Steve Miller next, both with 71.
Max Hasson, John Soroka, Michael Bazzica and Mitchell Dwyer all had nett scores of 72.
Hopewell endured a second round of mixed fortune but had done enough on the first day to earn the title with rounds of 68 and 75 for a total of 143.
De Sousa (74+74) and Thomson (71+77) tied for second with 148 while Nicholas Kowalik (Mount Lawley GC) claimed third place with (74+76) 150.
Handicap division winners for the two rounds were Max Hasson (67+72=139) in first place, with Brad Best (73+71) and Nicholas Kowalik (71+73) next best with 144.
In a very tight field, a number of players tied for third position on 145.
Rockingham players Miller, Steve Quinn, Glenn Milne and Leviston all achieved that total as well as visitors Hopewell and James Dwyer.