It was meant to be a transitional phase – just don’t tell the Australian Queen Sirikit Cup team.
Sydney’s Shelly Shin, Perth’s Hannah Green and the Gold Coast’s Becky Kay were today named as the Australian trio to compete in the Asia-Pacific team championship in May.
But coach Tony Meyer and manager Virginia Irwin see no reason why the new-look national team can’t be more than competitive at the Hong Kong Golf Club.
Along with Jenny Lee and Gennai Goodwin, the three teenagers united to bring unexpected silverware home when they won the Commonwealth-based Astor Trophy in January.
So despite the progression of Minjee Lee and Su Oh to professional ranks, Meyer says there’s confidence in the ranks that they can keep the winning roll started in last year’s world amateur teams triumph.
“Absolutely they can – all three are in excellent form and there’s no reason it can’t continue,” QAS-based Meyer said.
“I think we’re a really big chance of winning. If you look at the Astor Trophy, we didn’t expect to go so well with such a young team, but they did it there.
“The Astor has been a real catalyst for the girls to kick on.
“Shelly won the Aussie Amateur, Hannah was runner-up in the New Zealand Open and Becky was low amateur and sixth overall at the Ladies Masters.
“So they’ve all done really well and I think they’ll be full of confidence.”
The Queen Sirikit Trophy has been contested annually since 1979 with Australia victorious nine times.
However, Korea has been its dominant force in recent years with Australia’s 2013 triumph the only time the international golf powerhouse hasn’t saluted since 2007.
“The Koreans are always extremely strong at women’s golf – pro and amateur – but I think that the girls in our team have been in great form and we’ve had some great results over the last couple of Queen Sirikit Cups,” Meyer said.
“There’s no reason that can’t continue with the international and competitive experience they now have under their belt.”
The event runs from May 20-22 and pits Australia, 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.