Date: March 15, 2015
Author: Mark Hayes

Green, Kay elevated to national squad

Perth’s Hannah Green and the Gold Coast’s Becky Kay have been rewarded for stellar summers with elevation to the Golf Australia national squad.

Green, 18, and Kay, 16, were key contributors to Australia’s Astor Trophy triumph in Adelaide in January – and both have since recorded outstanding results in professional tournaments to underline their potential.

Green, of Mount Lawley Golf Club in Perth’s northern suburbs, took a giant step with her recent runner-up finish to world No.1 Lydia Ko in the LET-sanctioned New Zealand Open.

That result came hot on the heels of competitive results at the RACV Ladies Masters at Royal Pines and the Oates Victorian Open at 13th Beach; and all this after winning her home state WA Amateur medal last year, the Dunes Medal in Victoria in November and then a quarter-final finish in the Australian Amateur.

Kay, of Coolangatta and Tweed Heads Golf Club, was third in last year’s Australian Girls Amateur and a semi-finalist in the Australian Amateur, but vaulted to prominence when sixth behind winner and former national squad member Su Oh in the Ladies Masters.

Kay finished leading amateur with three birdies in her closing six holes amid a classy field testament to her mental strength.

Golf Australia high performance director Brad James was delighted that both young women had enjoyed such consistent results.

“Hannah and Becky have both shown they are capable of taking their games to the next level,” James said.

“We think they’ve both just scratched the surface of what they can achieve and we’re delighted that we can look after their development processes going forward.

“Hannah was a really key player for us at the Astor Trophy and showed really improved signs of maturity in her golf, just as she did in New Zealand.

“Becky is just 16 and has an enormous upside to her game – what she did at Royal Pines was outstanding in just her second professional event.”

Golf Western Australia national coach Ritchie Smith said Green had already shown aptitude to compete with the world’s best and would improve that again in the national program.

“She’s already a great athlete even though she’s still learning the ropes at an international level and what it will take to succeed,” Smith said.

“If she develops that side of her game and how best to use her skills at that level, we’ve got high hopes for what she could achieve.”

Golf Queensland national coach Tony Meyer said Kay already had considerable experience including competing overseas and would soon represent her state for the third time.

“Even with that and although she’s had great results of late, she knows there’s much work to be done,” Meyer said.

“But Becky has got a really strong work ethic and if she continues that and focuses on developing physically, she’s likely to have great results in years to come.”

The duo joins Shelly Shin as the female members of the 11-strong national squad that also includes Lucas Herbert, Ryan Ruffels, Cameron Davis, Zach Murray, Brett Coletta, Cory Crawford, Antonio Murdaca and Jarryd Felton.