Date: March 27, 2015
Author: Mark Hayes

Shin, Green off to join Webb

Shelly Shin has won the coveted Karrie Webb Series for 2015, with Hannah Green runner-up.

The duo, members of the Golf Australia national squad, each receive a $10,000 scholarship from World Golf Hall of Fame member Webb.

They win a trip to the US Open to watch Webb play and stay with her for the week.

It also helps in consideration for an invitation into the 2016 Women’s Australian Open.

But for all the perks, the exposure to arguably Australia’s greatest ever golfer in tournament mode – and her ongoing mentoring support – are undoubtedly the top prizes.

Shin, of Concord Golf Club in Sydney, was the standout performer in the series, finishing with 771 points from her six counting events.

That left the 16-year-old 99.17 points clear of Perth’s Green in second, with Victorian Julienne Soo third, another 77 points adrift.

The series wasn’t decided until yesterday’s West Australian Strokeplay, the last of the 14-event program.

Perth’s Hayley Bettencourt, a winner of the recent WA Amateur title for the second consecutive year, stormed home to finish fourth after tying for third at Lake Karrinyup yesterday.

Queenslander Becky Kay and Victorian Jo Charlton, who didn’t play in Perth, were the other players to rack up more than 500 points.

Green’s second position wasn’t locked until she outduelled Soo in the final three rounds of the WA Strokeplay. But the Mount Lawley golfer’s runner-up finish to Liz Elmassian proved more than enough to finish second overall.

But Shin’s consistency throughout the year was the clear difference.

So good was the quietly spoken Australian Amateur champion that her tie for third yesterday didn’t count towards her scores.

Wins in the Victorian Strokeplay and Lake Macquarie Amateur were backed by a series of other podium finishes and some bold showings in state-level professional events in New South Wales and Victoria.

Shin was excited to have won the prizes, saying the chance to spend time with Webb at the US Open would be “awesome”.

“I got to play a practice round with her before the Australian Open … it was a great experience,” Shin said.

“I was just focused on playing well in the events … to win the series is pretty cool.

“It’s going to be awesome to be over there (the US Open) with her. She’s really nice and helpful and wants to help us all. It’s going to be cool.”

Other winners of counting amateur events throughout the year were Soo (2), Green, Charlton, Doey Choi and Elmassian.

Previous winners of the scholarships include Golf Australia rookie squad members Minjee Lee and Su Oh, both of whom were thrilled to be able to get to know Webb.

The series, having just finished its eighth year, promotes women’s golf in Australia and also helps recognise seven-time major champion Webb’s contribution to Australian golf.