He is less than two months into his professional career yet Josh Greer is already wary of the threat posed by the next generation at this week’s Nexus Advisernet/Bowra & O’Dea WA Open in Perth.

A state open dating back to 1913, the WA Open has a proven history of elevating amateur golfers into the professional stratosphere.

Eleven of the first 12 WA Opens played were won by amateurs while in more recent times, Terry Gale (1972 and 1975), Stephen Leaney (1991), Oliver Goss (2012), Curtis Luck (2016), Zach Murray (2018) and Hayden Hopewell (2020) have all won as amateurs.

Greer, Hopewell, Connor McKinney and Adam Brady have all turned professional in the past 12 months and the WA production line shows no signs of slowing.

Joondalup Country Club member Tom Addy beat a strong field of professionals to claim the Metal West Recycling Joondalup Resort Classic on the adidas PGA Pro-Am Series in May, while 15-year-old Wanneroo sensation Ollie Marsh won both the WA Amateur and City of Perth Men’s Championship earlier this year.

Greer himself first played the WA Open as a 14-year-old in 2015 and expects the youngsters to turn heads this week.

“There are a lot of good players here at the minute, even guys you wouldn’t really hear of,” Greer said.

“Obviously Tom Addy won the pro-am around here and pretty much beat a similar field to what’s here this week. He’s an awesome player and then you’ve got Connor [McKinney], this is his home course, too.

“I’ve never played with Ollie or even seen him play in the past three or four years but he’s obviously a really good player and he deserves to be here. I wouldn’t be surprised if he plays well.”

Although the official course record for the combination of the Quarry and Lake nines at Joondalup Resort sits with Matthew Habgood’s nine-under 63 at the 2020 WA PGA Championship, Greer and McKinney have both shot 11-under 61 in club competitions.

They regularly practice with Hopewell and Min Woo Lee when he is home in Perth, that competitive intensity a key driver in the strength of WA golf at present.

“It’s good to play with good players and we all play together quite a lot,” Greer said. “If they’re better than you and you play with them, it just levels it out. Whereas if you practice on your own a lot or just do stuff on your own, it’s hard to really gauge where you’re at. I actually don’t know what it is, but there are quite a few good players coming out of WA at the moment.”

And if playing at his home course isn’t enough of an advantage, Greer will also have a familiar face on the bag this week. As he did eight years ago in his son’s WA Open debut, John Greer will take on the caddie duties at a price only a parent would agree to.

“We probably had a few arguments back then, but I’ve grown up a bit now,” Greer said of his dad’s early days on the bag.

“He caddied for me in the British Amateur last year, so I like having him on the bag. He knows what I need. I know what I’m doing and he knows that I know what I’m doing so we just chat about random stuff and play the game. He’ll probably spray me if I hit a few bad shots or if I don’t hit it where he tells me to. But he’ll wait until after the round, which is good.”

The third event of the 2023-2024 PGA Tour of Australasia season, the WA Open offers players another opportunity to enhance their standing on the Order of Merit. With current No.1 Daniel Gale among the strong Aussie contingent at the Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews, PNG Open winner Lachlan Barker can wrest back top spot with a strong showing this week.

The final two rounds of the WA Open will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 505 and Kayo Sports, coverage to start at 4.30pm on Saturday and 2.30pm on Sunday (AEDT).