Bonville Golf Resort is the destination for the fourth staging of the renamed Australian Women’s Classic that returns after being lost to Covid in 2021.

A course that many locals will have made a pilgrimage to, or have firmly placed on their bucket list combines with a solid field of local and overseas talent to make this an interesting event each and every year. And many of our Aussie girls will be hoping they can have a week similar to the 2020 champion who took the title and ran with it and now finds herself with a full LPGA Tour card.

DEFENDING CHAMPION: Playing in the event as an amateur, Steph Kyriacou claimed a dominant win that earned her playing rights in Europe, which she took hold of and ran with having turned professional. The Sydneysider now playing full time in America on the world’s largest women’s circuit.

Aged 19 at the time, Kyriacou entered the final day with a two shot lead and by the time she made the turn in just 29 strokes had extended it to 10 and blown the highly credentialled field out of the water.

RIGHT: Kyriacou claimed the title when the event was last played in 2020, and now finds herself on the LPGA Tour. PHOTO: David Tease/Golf NSW.

Eventually finishing at 22-under-par for the 72 holes, Kyriacou took the trophy by eight shots from Korea’s Ayeon Cho to announce herself to the world as a player to watch for the future.

Teeing it up this week at the LA Open, Kyriacou will not defend her title.

COURSE: It is perhaps slightly unfair that Bonville Golf Resort is often referred to as ‘Australia’s Augusta’ with the host of The Masters Tournament arguably the most famous and certainly best funded course in the world. But similarities are unquestionably there and Bonville is deserving of its status as Australia’s Favourite Course according to the readers of Golf Australia magazine.

Ranked No.40 in the Top-100 Courses in Australia in 2022, “there was nothing really striking about the property at all” according to course designer Ted Stirling when he and his partner Terry Watson first visited what was a re-forested piece of land once owned by Australian Paper Mills.

The duo realised that the huge stands of dense gums were part of the allure of what would become Bonville, and worked the holes into the landscape without decimating the natural flora and fauna that abounds near Coffs Harbour.

Rolling undulation and significant changes in elevation throughout the 18 hole journey, combine with white sand bunkers, creeks and brilliantly strategic par-5s to give the feel of Augusta in Australia, so too does the silence and remote feel when standing out on the course.

The challenge of Bonville is presented immediately at the par-4 1st. PHOTO: Brendan James.

Bonville is by no means short, but the players who plot their way around Stirling’s design will be the ones in contention this week. And the finishing stretch is a memorable one that makes for an exciting finish in a tournament format.

The uphill approach at the par-4 16th tests distance control, before the par-3 17th offers something of a light version of the 12th at Augusta played over a significant water hazard to a wide green that it is imperative to hit if you have hopes of making par.

Then comes the hole that every visitor will remember to finish their round, the 460 metre par-5 18th requires a tee shot up over the crest of a hill with Flooded Gums either side of the fairway, the climb to the top of the hill revealing a narrow putting surface guarded by two bunkers and water short. Every score from eagle to double bogey is in play at the last.


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PLAYERS TO WATCH: As Kyriacou showed in 2020, predicting a winner here is a tough task with no shortage of players deserving attention.

Looking to do exactly as the St. Michael’s member did two years ago, Kirsten Rudgeley is an amateur who no one would be surprised if she were to take a professional win and join the play-for-pay ranks.

Rudgeley has returned from the States where she recorded a top-10 finish at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur having been right in the mix against the pros and won The Athena at home earlier this year. Possessing all the tools to be a successful player for a long time, the similarities with her last tournament start venue and this week’s makes the West Australian a big chance at Bonville.

Another of the players to consistently feature high on leaderboards throughout the summer, Cassie Porter will be fresh after some time off following a busy schedule and has all the tools to play well at Bonville.

Without playing rights beyond Australia, Porter could give her burgeoning pro career a huge lift with a good performance here and a potential avenue to Europe. And the Queenslander has played this event multiple times before.

Having returned from Augusta National where she was T8, Kirsten Rudgeley is among the players to watch this week. PHOTO: David Cannon/Getty Images.

Arguably the favourite this week, Sarah Kemp was in contention at times last week in Hawaii on the LPGA Tour and will feel right at home this week not far from where she grew up.

Kemp is a consistent performer whose play on the LPGA has been at its best in recent times and after missing a chance to compete at home due to Covid the week of the WPGA Championship, ‘Kempy’ will be right up for this one.

Currently the only Aussie playing the LET full time, Whitney Hillier is still chasing a maiden win on the Tour but looks a huge chance here.

T23 last week in the mixed stableford event in Thailand, Hillier has played some great golf over the recent months, highlighted by her share of second at the Vic Open.

Of the overseas players, Maja Stark arrives in good form after finishing runner-up in Thailand and is a proven winner surely destined for the LPGA Tour.

The Swede won three times in her rookie year on the LET in 2021, and the World No.87 already owns two top-20 finishes at the U.S. Women’s Open.

Familiar to many Australian golf fans, Meg Maclaren has committed to the LET this year rather than continue on the Epsom Tour in America having come agonisingly close to an LPGA card a number of times.

Experienced at Bonville and a two-time Women’s NSW Open winner, Maclaren played solidly over the past fortnight in Thailand mixing it with the men of the Asian Tour and wouldn’t surprise if she found more success in the New South Wales this week.

72-HOLE RECORD: 266, (Steph Kyriacou, 2020).

PAST AUSSIE WINNERS: Steph Kyriacou (2020).

Live streamed on the tournament website ( 
Round 2:
 Friday (Kayo LIVE 11:30am – 4:30pm)
Round 3: Saturday (Kayo & Fox Sports LIVE 11:30am – 4:30pm)
Round 4: Sunday (Kayo & Fox Sports LIVE 11:30am – 4:30pm)
*AEDT, check local guides