In-form Queensland teenage golfing prodigy Cassie Porter is set to test her greatly-improved game against some of the best in the business and hopefully pre-qualify for the 2017 Isuzu Queensland Open.
Cassie, just 15, is one of two female golfers to enter the pre-qualifiers, which will be held at Wynnum and Carbrook golf clubs on Monday week (October 23). The Isuzu Queensland Open will be staged at The Brisbane Golf Club from October 26-29.
The other amateur seeking to pre-qualify and play in the four-day Open is Maroochy River’s Rhianna Maree Lewis. Last year Gennai Goodwin and Becky Kay contested the pre-qualifiers, but did not make the cut.
Cassie, from Peregian Springs, has enjoyed a sensational past two months of golf, winning the Katherine Kirk Classic and the Sunshine Coast Invincibles Masters, as well as celebrating her 15th birthday. And last week she shot a four-round two-over 290 to win the 15 years girls championship at the Jack Newton International Junior Classic at Cypress Lakes, and finished seventh in the Girls Junior Championship.
Cassie’s ambitions are as simple as they are lofty. She wants to be the No 1 golfer in the world – something she has dreamed about since she started playing golf at the age of nine. First, though, she wants to cement her place in the top five female amateurs in Australia. She is currently ranked 71st.
“Playing in a field of mostly men – and from the championship tees – is a huge challenge but something Cassie is really looking forward to,” said her mum Di.
“At this age the more she puts herself in pressure situations the better she will be able to respond as her experience and her confidence grows. Yes, she will be trying to pre-qualify for the Open, but if she doesn’t it will still be a great experience for her.”
In February this year, at just 14, Cassie played in the pre-qualifying for the Victorian Women’s Open and finished 13th in the field of 52.
The pre-qualifiers for the 2017 Isuzu Queensland Open have attracted 108 amateurs and 69 professionals who are looking for a start in the 93rd staging of the historic event. Depending on final numbers for the Open, as many as 15 positions in the field could be up for grabs.
In the lead up to the Open, the spotlight will also fall on a Golf Queensland initiative, the Ladies Let’s Golf program. Two free clinics catering for 60 women will be held at The Brisbane Golf Club on Monday and Tuesday, October 23 and 24.
Ladies Let’s Golf is an initiative of Golf Queensland and offers a free introduction to golf in informal golf clinics. These introductory clinics are also inclusive of all equipment – golf balls, golf clubs and coaching – and refreshments are also provided.
The 60 women invited by Golf Queensland to attend the special clinics during Queensland Open week are already registered with the program. Under the tutelage of TBGC Director of Golf Joe Janison and recently-employed trainee professional Kylie Close, the three-hour clinics will be split into separate sessions with one-hour instructions on the long game, short game and putting.
“We will be using the excellent practise facilities at the club as well as the putting greens, and will have 30 ladies here each day who will be divided into groups of 10,” said Mr Janison.
“And afterwards there will be a get-together in the clubhouse where the ladies will enjoy canapes especially prepared by our Executive Chef, and a glass of bubbly.”
Two Brisbane Golf Club members who have graduated from the Ladies Let’s Golf program, Leanne James and Jenny Somers, have also been invited to play in the Pro-Am. Jenny, who was a member of the very first Ladies Let’s Golf intake at TBGC, is the reigning ladies’ C Grade champion.
The Isuzu Queensland Open will be played from 26-29 October 2017 at The Brisbane Golf Club. For more information visit www.qldopen.com.au.