Braden Becker pulls off miracle win at WA Open
Braden Becker secured his first win on the PGA Tour of Australasia in taking out his home-state WA Open on Sunday.
Becker withstood a spirited challenge by amateur local Hayden Hopewell, who won the WA Open in 2020 and finished runner-up the year prior, to finish on 19-under-par for a one stroke victory and in the process pocketed A$27,000.
Braden Becker (Credit: PGA Tour)
Becker began with a four-shot lead that he quickly extended to five before Hopewell birdied four of his opening nine holes to reduce the margin down to one shot. Hopewell then went on to birdie the 13th from close range after Becker three-putted from 20 metres to see the the pair tied.
The drama really unfolded on the par 5 18th at Royal Fremantle Golf Club when Becker’s fourth shot into the green ricocheted off the golf ball of his playing partner and rolled to less than a metre from the hole to snag the much needed par for victory.
WITB: Braden Becker
- Titleist Pro V1x Golf Ball
- Titleist TSi3 Driver
- Titleist TSi3 Fairway
- Titleist T100 (4-PW) Irons
- Titleist Vokey Design SM8 Wedges
“I’m in shock,” said Becker immediately following his win. “I’m still shaking. Hit a lot of good shots and I hit some terrible ones and I got punished for them, and I just scraped through.”
As a result of his victory Becker receives a two-year exemption to play on the Australasian Tour.
“It’s a really good feeling, knowing I’ve got somewhere to play for a couple of years. It’s awesome, but it also gives me the confidence and the dollars to go and push somewhere else, whether it’s DP World Tour or Korn Ferry,”
Nathan Barbieri, who was playing in the final group with Becker, finished in outright third position at 17-under with Josh Armstrong and Oliver Goss sharing 4th position at 15-under-par.
The Australasian Tour now moves to the Northern Territory this week for the NT PGA Championship at Palmerston Golf Course with the 2021-22 Order of Merit to be decided. The event’s $150,000 prize money will mean there is unlikely to be any major changes at the top of the Order of Merit.
Jediah Morgan’s win in the Australian PGA at his home club and the A$180,000 prize basically guaranteed the Queenslander the top-order position on the Order of Merit with a total of A$190,408 and with that automatic status on the DP World Tour.
Blake Windred is in second position with a comfortable $13,000 buffer over Andrew Dodt and Dimi Papadatos.
The top-5 on the year-end OOM also get entry into final round of the Korn Ferry Q-school providing the opportunity for rookie professional Louis Dobbelaar to get a possible start with the Queenslander currently in 6th place on the Australian Order of Merit.