Date: May 14, 2015
Author: Mark Hayes

Lizzy relishes green and gold shot

Liz Elmassian cannot wait to put her good fortune to the test.

The rising Sydney star has been called up into Australia’s Queen Sirikit Cup team to replace the departed Shelly Shin – and she could barely be more excited to pull on the national colours again.

Shin’s family unexpectedly left Australia to return to their native Korea last month, leaving fellow Sydneysider Elmassian to play in the May 20-22 tournament.

“It’s a shame for Shelly, we miss her a lot and it’s weird not to have her around,” Elmassian said.

“But I’m really excited to get my chance again – I can’t wait to get the green and gold back on.”

Elmassian will join Perth’s Hannah Green and the Gold Coast’s Becky Kay in Hong Kong as the Australian team tries again to curb the Korean dominance of the event.

Australia won in 2013, the only time since 2007 that the powerhouse Korean team hasn’t saluted.

Elmassian, who last represented Australia at the Youth Olympics in Nanjing in August last year, won into the team after some great late-season results, most notably the West Australian Strokeplay title in late March and was runner-up in the Australian Amateur Championship on her home course The Australian in January.

“It’s definitely a good reward – I was very excited when I got the call from (Golf Australia high performance director) Brad James,” she said.

“It was really good to win a good, prominent tournament and I guess it came at the right time … to be able to play with Hannah and Becky.”

James has high hopes that Elmassian and her teammates will deliver in Hong Kong.

“We were happy to add Liz to the squad after her good results late in the season,” James said.

“I’m confident that all the girls will acquit themselves well in the Queen Sirikit Cup and continue the roll we’re on in national teams events.”

The Australian women’s team won the Commonwealth-focused Astor Trophy in Adelaide earlier this year and last year the World Amateur Teams event with recently turned pros Minjee Lee and Su Oh in the frame.

Coach Tony Meyer and manager Virginia Irwin will oversee the Australian team as it competes against Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, New Zealand, Japan, Philippines, India, Taiwan, China and Indonesia.

The format is three rounds of strokeplay with an individual champion and the team trophy based on the best two scores daily from each country.