Date: January 06, 2015
Author: Mark Hayes /

Rising stars step on to Astor�s big stage

The search for Australia’s next wave of elite female talent begins in earnest next week as the time-honoured Astor Trophy hits Adelaide.

After an era capped by Women’s World Amateur Teams Championship glory in September, the two key players – Minjee Lee and Su-hyun Oh — have joined professional ranks to pave the way for the next generation to shine.

And led by the remaining member of that triumphant team, Sydney’s Shelly Shin, that time has arrived for four other young women.

Shin, still 16, showed glimpses of being able to take that next step in Japan in September and won the Victorian Amateur title to round out last year.

But other than Perth’s Hannah Green, Shin is now the only player in next week’s team to have represented Australia at senior level.

Golf Australia high performance director Brad James said the Astor Trophy would be a great way for the women to show their wares against elite international competition,

“It’s a great opportunity for the next wave of Australia’s elite female golfers to take the reins,” James said.

“Minjee and Su obviously set a standard that our next generation can follow and this tournament offers an opportunity to showcase their potential.”

The Astor Trophy, formerly the Commonwealth Trophy, is contested once every four years between Commonwealth nations.

This year’s staging on the magnificent West Course at The Grange Golf Club pits teams from Canada, South Africa, New Zealand and a combined Great Britain and Ireland squad.

Each team plays each other once with foursomes in the morning and singles in the afternoon with no final and all results calculated on contests won.

Shin, who also won the Queensland Amateur title last year, has been in sparkling form since the Golf Australia national camp last month and will be vital as Australia chases its fifth win in the event first held in 1959.

Green, 18, the 2014 WA Amateur Stokeplay Medalist, represented Australia in the Queen Sirikit Cup in Malaysia last year.

But the other Australian representatives, have never pulled on national colours at senior level.

Adelaide’s Jenny Lee, 18, won her state amateur title last year and was also the Lake Macquarie Amateur champion.

Becky Kay, 15, of the Gold Coast, was third in last year’s Australian Girls Amateur and was SA junior champ and Junior Masters runner up in 2013.

And Brisbane’s Gennai Goodwin, 20, is back home after representing Texas Tech in American collegiate golf last year.

Next week’s field features a host of the world’s top 100 amateur players, including Scotland’s Connie Jaffrey and South African Michaela Fletcher.

Entry to The Grange is free and the tournament runs for five days from Monday, January 12.