Hayden Hopewell breaks course and tournament record on the way to 2023 Spalding Park Open triumph

Jake Santa MariaGeraldton Guardian
Hayden Hopewell drives off the 18th tee on his way to a tournament record 198.
Camera IconHayden Hopewell drives off the 18th tee on his way to a tournament record 198. Credit: Jake Santa Maria

WA pro Hayden Hopewell broke all kinds of records in a stunning display of skill at the 49th annual Mitchell & Brown Spalding Park Open across the weekend.

It’s the biggest event in Geraldton golf and the biggest in WA with the $50,000 prize purse the biggest on offer for the WA leg of the Adidas PGA Pro-Am Series.

Across the weekend nearly 100 pro and amateur golfers would make their way around the greens over the three days, with conditions turning out perfect despite the wild weather earlier in the week.

All eyes were quickly on Hopewell as he lit up the course with a stunning round of 62 with birdies on holes, three, five, six, nine and 11 before finishing up with four straight birdies to claim a 10-under five-stroke lead at the end of the first day.

It was a course record and a personal one, with Hopewell’s previous best round a 63 set at his home course of Royal Fremantle Golf Club.

But the going was tougher on day two as he managed just one under par to open the door for Ryan Peake who carded a 4-under 68 to move to 9-under overall, just two behind Hopewell.

Ben Ferguson (69) and Andrew Crabb were a further three shots back, with last year’s champion Scott Strange in a tie for fifth on 5-under.

Yet any thoughts of a tight finish were short-lived as Hopewell came back strong on day three with four birdies in his 11 holes on his way to a 7-under (65) and an overall tournament record 198.

Hopewell received the tournament jacket to warm applause of those gathered.

“It’s an honour, I was stoked with how I played the week went overall but yeah it’s an honour coming up here and winning this event,” he said.

“Having such a good first round it was always tough to back it up but I think I held myself in there all the way to the end in round two and that kind of highlighted some stuff for me that I needed to take into the final round.

“I think I was a bit more calm and collected today, which I think was key for my finish.”

There’s plenty more ahead for the young star, with the 21-year-old to play in Karratha, Broome and Port Hedland before heading off to European events.

Hopewell finished with a tournament record 18-under
Camera IconHopewell finished with a tournament record 18-under Credit: Jake Santa Maria

Local pro and head professional of Spalding Park Byron Clarkson said Hopewell was a special player and he looked forward to the tournament next year.

“It’s nice having Hayden playing so well, I think it’s great for the event and I think he’s going to be a really good player moving forward, so it’s nice to have his name on our honour board,” he said.

“The course is pretty resilient so we weren’t too worried about the weather but credit to the volunteers and greenkeepers who made sure it played really well.

“We’ve got big plans for next year with our 50th coming up; we’re not sure what that will be yet, but we’re going to put a real spin on things and try and make it bigger and better than ever.”

Across the local amateur tournament, Riley Gott was the Gross winner with rounds of 75, 76 and 73 to finish three strokes ahead of Dean McArthur.

Jordan Fenn was the Stableford winner with a total of 109 ahead of Trevor Strand.

The Mitchell & Brown Spalding Park Open (Spalding Park Golf Club), Final Professional Results:

198 Hayden Hopewell (WA); 204 Scott Strange (WA); 208 Ryan Peake (WA); 210 Cameron Kelly (VIC) 211 Steven Jones (VIC) Jose De Sousa (WA); 212 Ben Ferguson (WA); 213 Brady Watt (VIC) Daniel Fox (WA); 214 Braden Becker (WA) Cooper Geddes (WA); 215 Rick Kulacz (WA); 216 Simon Houston (WA) Andrew Crabb (WA); 217 Brendan Chant (WA); 219 David Andrews (WA); 220 Joshua Herrero (WA); 221 Conor Brown (WA); 222 John Boulton (WA) Ethan Andrews (WA); 223 Jeong Woo Ha (WA) Stephen Herbert (WA); 224 Darren Garrett (WA) Andrew Gott (WA) Dale Howie (ZIM) Robert Mitchell (WA); David Harris (TAS) 227 Brodie Burden (VIC); 229 Greg McClurkin (WA) Stuart Beament (WA); 231 David Wilson (WA) Byron Clarkson (WA); 233 Jarred McCosh (WA) 238 Matthew Lloyd-White (WA); 241 Glenn Paul (WA); 243 Robert Clark (WA); 244 Chris Hevron (WA); 246 Grant Williams (QLD); 247 Mostyn Farmer (WA); 250 Andrew Wyatt (WA); 263 Frank McLoughlin (WA) PAR 216

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