Date: March 06, 2019
Author: Mark Hayes

Soo-per busy … and loving it

Each of the 41 players at Glenelg for this week’s Queen Sirikit Cup is, by definition, having a big year in their young careers.

Few, though, have the full book of Australian Julienne Soo.

The Melburnian, who will partner Sydney duo Doey Choi and Steph Kyriacou, will make her full senior debut in green and gold in Adelaide this week.

But it’s just the beginning for the Woodlands Golf Club tyro, who’ll turn 22 later this month.

Soo will then return to her University of Oklahoma base to prepare for arguably the biggest week of her young career, carrying an invite to the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur for the chance to play at the home of the Masters just day’s before the year’s first men’s major championship.

From there, it’s back to Japan in late April as part of the six-strong Aussie contingent for the Women’s Amateur Asia Pacific.

And that’s when it gets super hectic.

Back to the United States for a busy end to the collegiate season, including the NCAA national finals campaign for her Sooners.

She then graduates in May and will almost immediately turn professional to take up status on the Symetra Tour that she secured via good results at the LPGA Tour’s Q-school last year.

“It’s a huge couple of months … a huge year,” Soo said with great understatement as she tuned up this week in Adelaide.

“I’m graduating (in May), but I have all these cool tournaments lined up. There’s almost too many, which is obviously a really good problem to have.

“But everything is lining up. I’m getting all these invites to play in my last season as an amateur, so it will be kind of cool to get all these things ticked off, especially Augusta, I’m pretty excited about that.

“I’ll turn pro straight after nationals (NCAA championships) finish and then we’re on the road. It’s a busy year ahead for sure.”

You could excuse Soo if she were to look past this week to her impending date with Augusta.

But the Victorian, who led her state to victory in the 2015 Interstate Series against Hannah Green’s Western Australia before heading to the US collegiate scene, is extremely proud to have been chosen for this week’s Queen Sirikit Cup team.

“It’s really good. Obviously I don’t get a lot of chances to do it because I’m away from home, so it’s pretty cool to pull out that green and gold bag and put on the uniform,” she beamed.

“It’s next level here. Team golf’s big in college, but it’s cool to have it in a national sense and represent your country and to do it with that team aspect is great.

“A lot of people haven’t seen me play much in four years when I left for college, so it will be interesting.

“I’ve come in every year to play pretty much one tournament, so I hope they’ve seen some sort of progress. But it’s pretty cool to hopefully have them see a big difference this time.”

Next month’s trip to Georgia, though, will jump into her mind almost as she boards the plane back across the Pacific after her South Australian adventure.

The ground-breaking 54-hole Augusta National Women’s Amateur will feature 36 holes at the Champions Retreat Golf Club in Augusta on 3-4 April, a practice round at Augusta National on 5 April and then, for the top 30 who make the cut, a competitive round at the home of the Masters on 6 April.

“It hasn’t become real to me yet,” Soo said with a broad smile.

“Last year I’d never have thought I’d get the chance to play at Augusta, or even see it because tickets are so hard to get. So until I get on that plane and go to Augusta, it probably won’t really hit me.

“But then I reckon it will be `Oh my god, it’s happening’.

“It’s just so amazing because it’s been obviously really limited for women to come into Augusta National, and even more amazing that it’s for amateurs, not even professionals, and I’m going to have that first chance to get there and play. So how cool is that?!?

“I’m tyring to put as little pressure on me as possible (about making the cut).

“So my outlook is that even if I don’t get to play (on tournament day), I’m still going to be able to see the course which is going to be awesome in itself – and I have tickets lined up for a couple of friends so it’s going to be amazing.

“But at the same time, I really want to make that cut. That would be incredible.”