29 Jan 2016
If the Patricia Bridges Bowl was given to those eager to visit Australia, Mo Martin and Christina Kim would be locked in a fierce playoff.
As the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open nears, so does the itch in the American stars’ passport pockets as they each prepare for their first visit to Adelaide.
Martin, the 2014 Women’s British Open champion, has strong Australian ties with her mentor legendary Queensland coach Ian Triggs.
“He’s a huge part of my team and my first LPGA event was at Royal Melbourne and I have really great memories there,” the world No.59 said this week.
“So I’m looking forward to going back – every trip I’ve had there has been memorable, exciting and beautiful.
“I’ve never been to Adelaide. It’s great they’ve committed (South Australia as host) to the next three years and I think it’s going to be a great city and I’m really looking forward to all it has to offer.
“I try to do something local at every event, so I’m looking forward to soaking it up.”
Kim, a three-time LPGA Tour event winner, has lost count of how many times she has been to Australia, both socially and professionally.
But the Down Under gloss has never come off for the popular 31-year-old.
“I’m just super excited to be going back. It’s my first time visiting Adelaide – I’ve been as far west as Perth, but never been to South Australia. I’ve heard great things,” Kim said.
“I’ve got years of experience going to visit the country and it’s beautiful – the people are great and love to have fun and it will be nice to get away from the cold of the (United) States and go somewhere nice in summer.”
Both women, among the most affable on the LPGA Tour, spoke highly of the crowd’s involvement during their past Women’s Australian Open appearances.
“The fans really do love their golf. They are really passionate about all their sports, but their golf fans are awesome,” Kim, the world No.86, said.
“They’re very respectful, they love having us come out and play, coming to watch us. It’s awesome to see that level of support for the women’s game.
“Obviously they have great players in Minjee (Lee) and (Karrie) `Webby’, who’s one of the all-time greatest golfers and they’re just quality (people) down there.”
Martin said she particularly loved the “laidback culture”.
“And they have very attractive accents I could listen to all day long,” she joked.
“So all the applause and well-wishers (from the galleries) with their accents are nicer to hear.”
The ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open will be played at The Grange Golf Club in Adelaide from February 18-21.
Tickets, through www.ticketek.com.au, are available now.