The West

Star field for Golden Open
South African Christo Potgieter with Jade Woods, 13, Brock Illingworth, 11, Matthew Schiller 11, Gardiol Viviers, 11, Bryton Smith, 14 and Jean-Pierre Brits before this weekend’s Golden Open squash tournament. Picture: Louise White

The appearance of top 100 players Jan Koukal and Mike Corren underlines arguably the strongest-ever field to content the $16,000 City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder PSA Golden Open, which starts today.

Koukal, 70th in the world, and Corren, 76, headline an excellent field with the visiting duo among only four players on the world scene to have captured more than 30 individual titles.

Czech Republic's Koukal brings impressive form into the tournament after claiming last weekend's WA Open, his 31st crown overall.

Corren, a three-time winner of the Golden Open including back-to-back championships in 2009-10, will be gunning for his 50th title after being bundled out in last weekend's semi-finals.

Aware of Koukal's ability, Corren said he was confident he could return to the form which helped him claim the recent Darwin and Alice Springs championships.

"The most relevant thing for me is that I lost last weekend and the only thing on my mind is to up the ante and get that hunger back," Corren said.

"And nothing gets the hunger back quite like a loss.

"Since losing at the weekend I've been working pretty hard in Perth.

"I'm ready to give it my full tilt."

Sixteen will vie for the $US5000 purse with more than 100 in total taking to the courts across men's, women's, masters and junior grades.

Multiple women's division 1 winner Cindy Robarts will start favourite after two-time reigning champion Amanda Landers-Murphy withdrew due to injury.

Tournament director Peter Siebert said the calibre of the event was among the highest ever held in the Goldfields.

"It shows that Kalgoorlie-Boulder can host a tournament that can attract world-class players," he said.

"It also gives up-and-coming players from the Goldfields the opportunity to watch them and play in the same tournament.

"To have that opportunity is exceptional."

Squash in the Goldfields is set for another boost, with the Eastern Goldfields Squash Racquet Association told their new six-court facility at Ray Finlayson Sporting Complex will be complete by the end of next year.

Action at the YMCA and Hannans Club starts from 8am over the long weekend, with finals held on Monday morning.

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