THE Women’s Classic will boast one of the strongest fields in recent history next week, with five of the top 10 Australian amateur golfers gearing up for the event at Cottesloe Golf Club.
The competition has moved to Cottesloe this year having previously been at Lake Karrinyup Country Club, with the likes of defending champion Becky Kay (QLD), Stephanie Bunque (VIC) and Doey Choi (NSW) all making the trip west.
Kay enters the tournament as the favourite after a phenomenal fortnight that includes victories at the Riversdale Cup in Victoria and the Rene Erichsen Salver in Adelaide.
The No. 2 Australian amateur will be looking for back-to-back titles in Perth as she chases the number 1 mantle held by Grace Kim.
WA youngsters Kirsten Rudgeley, Maddison Hinson-Tolchard and Georgia Shears will be 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.
Hinson-Tolchard has taken some time away from the sport after a busy opening to the golf season with the Gosnells star ready to challenge for the title this week.
“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 from playing, the junior state team captain took on the role of caddy 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 caddying 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 Women’s Classic begins a busy period for the Australian girls 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,” she 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.”
The first tee off will be at 7.15am, with the women to 36 holes on day one.