Twelve months can be a long time in sport but for Golf NSW team member Lizzie Elmassian, it’s time she has to put to good use in her quest for the Women’s Australian Amateur Championship beginning tomorrow at Metropolitan Golf Club in Victoria.
Roll the tape back to the 2015 Women’s Australian Amateur final where Elmassian was beaten by Shelly Shin. She readily acknowledges that she had a lot of improving to do.
“I was soundly beaten by Shelly,” says Elmassian. “Her short game was phenomenal. I knew there was a lot of parts in my game that needed improvement after that.”
Elmassian has spent the last twelve months on that quest to improve, with the aim of taking the extra step and claiming the Women’s Amateur crown.
“I’ve worked hard on my game and on my swing with my coach Gary Barter. My short game is so much better now. I’m training hard in the gym with my (High Performance squad) team mates at Precision Athletica. I’m much stronger than I was last year.”
Elmassian, a member of the Australian Golf Club, has been taking advantage of the reciprocal rights that exist between the Kensington Club and Metropolitan in the Victorian Sand belt. She arrived at the course on Friday and has been practicing there with fellow club member Cathleen Santoso.
“Coming down on Friday and playing a few rounds with Cathleen has been a big help,” she says. “You really have to understand Metropolitan and have a strategy to play here.”
Getting that little bit of extra knowledge she hopes will give her an advantage over the strong international field, in particular the strong Korean and Japanese squads.
“There’s some fantastic players here. You’ve got to be ready. You’ve got to play well.”
Elmassian intends to show her competitors the best of her golf game. She enjoyed a break over the Christmas period before focussing on the challenges of the next few weeks.
“I prefer a bit of a break before big events. It’s the best way to clear my mind before a tournament.”
“I’m playing well, I’m swinging well. I’m game ready!” she smiled.