Date: January 31, 2007
Author: Luke Buttigieg

Bennett’s exciting day

By Luke Buttigieg Golf Australia National Squad member Emma Bennett says it was the thrill of a lifetime playing a practice round with world No.3 and fellow Australian Karrie Webb before the MFS Women&aposs Australian Open at Royal Sydney. The 22-year-old, who hails from Echuca in country Victoria, was a bundle of nerves before getting the round underway with her idol, but couldn&apost stop smiling afterwards when describing the experience. “Yeah it was very nerve-wracking to start off with but once we got through the first three or four holes it was great, really good,” Bennett said. “She was amazing, I picked her brains about a lot of different subjects and she was more than willing to help and she was really, really good so I wish her all the best.” Not too concerned about how she performed in the round on Wednesday as she also prepared to head to the range to hit a few balls before calling it a day, Bennett is expecting a battle confronting Royal Sydney. “It&aposs going to be tough, around even-par will probably do the trick,” she predicted. “It&aposs going to be hard but hopefully the conditions don&apost get too tough and you&aposll see some good scoring.” Having been to Royal Sydney before, but only as a spectator at last November&aposs men&aposs Australian Open, Bennett will be contesting her second Open after also teeing it up the last time the event was played at Yarra Yarra in Melbourne in 2004. As she prepared to start a tournament that is &aposdefinitely the biggest field I&aposve ever been in&apos alongside countrywoman Angela Harris and Korean Ji Na Li, Bennett is also delighted with how things have been going with the Golf Australia National Squad. “It&aposs going great, Golf Australia&aposs doing a fantastic job and I think as time goes on it&aposs just going to get better and better,” she said. “So for kids coming up in a couple of years they&aposre definitely going to get the benefits of all the hard work that they&aposre doing now.” Bennett may not be expected to steal the headlines from the likes of Webb, defending champion Laura Davies and American glamour girl Natalie Gulbis this week, but the emerging talent is one to keep an eye on in future years.