The stunning performance by 16 year old Victorian Su Hyun Oh at the recent Volvik RACV Ladies Masters on the Gold Coast highlighted a young lady who is destined for great heights in the game. Oh will take her place in the field at Royal Canberra, now no longer just making up the numbers but a potential contender despite her yet relative inexperience. That she faltered after taking the lead with seven holes to play in the final round at Royal Pines is perhaps understandable given the magnitude of what she was facing and her limited experience in that situation. What was remarkable however was that after dropping four shots in three holes during the middle her final round, she bounced back to birdie three of her last four holes to tie for second, two shots behind the brilliant Karrie Webb, arguably Australia&aposs greatest ever golfer. That bounce-back perhaps told the story of an amazing constitution possessed by Oh and further emphasised her future in the game. Until her effort at Royal Pines, Oh&aposs greatest performances had been her victory in the Australian Girls Amateur Championship in 2012, making the Quarter Finals at the 2012 US Amateur Championship and perhaps qualifying for the Australian Women&aposs Open at the age of 12 in 2009 to become the youngest player to tee it up in that event. Certainly these have been significant achievements in their own right but when she looks back on the manner in which she played one of Australian golf&aposs iconic events in early February it may well be her effort there that provides the launching pad for much greater things. On the Gold Coast she took the lead in the event when she eagled her final hole on Saturday to complete a second round of 64. While she was not discounting her prospects of holding on over the final round she was relishing the opportunity of playing in the heat of the battle and absorbing the experience. “It would be such a good opportunity to see how others play and just learn from them and then just play my own golf,” she said in her post round press conference that day. When asked how she might calm her nerves between then and the start of the final round on Sunday Oh&aposs response perhaps further highlighted why she was performing so well against such elite company. “I don&apost really feel nervous at the moment. I don&apost know. Eat some ice cream. Go home. See what people are doing. I bought a whole tub yesterday. My trainer won&apost be happy but oh well.” It was a reminder that she is still only 16 and is having fun as well as focusing on the seriousness of playing tournament golf at such a level. Oh had reason for a few nerves when she dropped a shot early in her final round but reminded us again of the composure she possesses with a series of birdies before the stumble in the middle of her round. Born in Busan in South Korea in 1996, but now an Australian citizen, Oh is a member of the Metropolitan Golf Club in Melbourne and is coached by Kingston Heath based Matt Cleverdon. Oh often has her father Seok-Guon (SG) the bag and they appear to have a lovely father and daughter relationship. It was noticeable after her final round at Royal Pines that several of the Korean media who had come to cover the likes of So Yeon Ryu and Jiyai Shin were keen to find out more about Oh, her story no doubt destined for the back pages of a golf crazy South Korea&aposs newspapers. Oh perhaps summed up her performance best when she expressed both disappointment and satisfaction with her final day effort. “I don&apost know, a bit of both I guess, she said when asked if she felt content or disappointed with her day. “I held it together pretty well I think but putts, I didn t miss any putts in the first, I don&apost know, up to the 12th or the 13th and that s the only two putts I missed – crucial putts. “But Karrie s really good, she’s like a legend. Yeah, I think I did alright.” “Yeah, definitely, one of my proudest moments I think, she added when asked that very question. “My Dad was pretty proud too I think. “I&aposm a little disappointed but I ve still got a lot more tournaments coming up, so I m looking forward to them.” Oh will not only be chasing leading amateur bragging rights at the Australian Women&aposs Open but her performance at Royal Pines might well see her believing she is capable of so much more even against a stronger field.
Author: Bruce Young / womensaustralianopen.com