Date: August 26, 2019
Author: Brad James

High Performance update

Women’s only development trip – Asia

Stacey Peters has organised for a group of female amateurs to compete in three Asian based events over a three week stretch in August. The events include the RSGC Ladies Amateur Championship, Malaysian Ladies Amateur and Indonesian Amateur. This is a great opportunity for the female athletes who are still in a development phase of their journeys, to gain international competing experience with Stacey in attendance to help guide them through. The travelling athletes are:

Lisa Edgar (Qld)
Sarah Wilson (Qld)
Amy Chu (NSW)
Kelsey Bennett (NSW)
Ashleigh Hall (Vic)
Kono Matsumoto (Vic)

Rookie Athlete Reviews

Mid-year reviews have now been completed with all twelve Rookie scholarship holders. The reviews are conducted with the athlete’s entire support team and amongst many things, assess recent performance, areas of growth and goal setting for the remainder of 2019 and beyond.

A mid-year review was also conducted in Sydney with John and Jill Kinghorn, this was a positive meeting with the finalisation of additional funding to be allocated to the athlete wellbeing space, led by Luke Mackey and his new role.

Athlete Wellbeing – Luke Mackey relocation update

Luke and his family have now relocated to a base in Orlando, Florida. Brett Coletta, a current Rookie athlete will also base himself out of Luke’s house, with several other rooms available for athletes to check in and spend time with Luke and the athlete’s development team.

In addition to the previous reported financial support from John and Jill Kinghorn ($200,000), the AIS have also committed $60,000AUD to be specifically used towards Luke’s athlete wellbeing role. The AIS have shown great interest in Golf Australia’s new venture with many other sports wanting to know more about the role.

Luke will predominately spend his time with current and former Rookie athletes, with some sporadic opportunities to check in with our elite amateurs at various international representative events and our athletes based in the USA college system.   

Athlete Updates

Hannah Green – KPMG Women's PGA Champion

Hannah became the third Australian women’s major champion with her wire to wire victory at the KPMG PGA Championship at Hazeltine National Golf Club. This is Golf Australia’s first major winner from an athlete currently in the Rookie program. Hannah’s world ranking has now reached a career low of 25th.  

Meetings have since occurred to assess Hannah’s new financial position, sponsorship opportunities, management support and how to continue to improve following this performance. 

Min Woo Lee – 2020 European Tour card

Invitations via his management group and exemptions based on performance have allowed Min Woo secure playing status for the 2020 European Tour season following his T23 at the Andalucia Masters in Spain after an accumulation of strong performances throughout the 2019 season.

Brett Coletta – Korn Ferry Tour results

Back to back top 5 finishes on the Korn Ferry Tour (formerly Web.Com Tour) has placed Brett inside the top 25 on the money list and should he maintain or improve that position within the next three weeks, would secure playing status on the PGA Tour for season 2020.

Event updates

Toyota World Junior Championship

A team of four boys and three girls represented Australia at the Toyota World Junior Teams Championship in Japan. Competing as separate girls’ and boys’ teams over 72-hole stroke play, the Australian girls’ team finished 4th and the Australian boys’ team finished 10th. Supported by Ritchie Smith and Rachel Bailey as coaches, as well as Luke Mackey, the teams were comprised of the following athletes:

Boys’                                                              Girls’

– Elvis Smylie (Qld)                                       – Cassie Porter (Qld)

– Jye Pickin (NSW)                                        – Maddison Hinson-Tolchard (WA)

– Hayden Hopewell (WA)                            – Kirsten Rudgeley (WA)

– Joshua Greer (WA)

Cassie Porter (Qld) was awarded joint medallist honours in the individual competition with a four-round total of    -11. Golf Australia competes in this event biennially, with New Zealand competing in the alternate years. 

Astor Trophy

Formerly known as the Commonwealth Tournament, the Astor Trophy is contested every four years between teams of female amateur golfers from Great Britain and Ireland, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa.

Each country is represented by four players who contest foursomes and singles match play in a round robin format.

Australia has selected a team comprising of four athletes currently in the US College system that includes:

  • Kirsty Hodgkins
  • Amelia Mehmet-Grohn
  • Stacey White
  • Emily Mahar

Former LPGA Tour player Emma De Groot will coach the women when they head to British Columbia from 28 August – 1 September.

One of the key strategic priorities for the program is to provide individual and professional competition experience as athletes transition from their amateur careers, and as such it is a recommendation that this be the last time Australia competes at the Astor Trophy. Funding allocated to this team-based event would be of much greater value if allocated towards targeted funding for individual and professional playing opportunities. 

APGC Junior Championship

Golf Australia will again send two teams to the APGC Junior Championship, 28-30 August at Hakone Golf Club, Japan. The tournament is played over 54 holes with fourball on day one, followed by foursomes on day two and individual stroke play on the final day. Each team comprises one male and one female junior athlete. This year’s selections are:

Team 1: Abbie Teasdale (WA) & Harrison Crowe (NSW)
Team 2: Keeley Marx (Vic) & Jack Buchanan (SA)

This event is seen as a development opportunity for athletes that have little or no international competing experience and would benefit greatly from the opportunity. The athletes will be accompanied by Fritz Arnold – Golf WA High performance Coordinator, and NSW based coach Rachel Bailey.