30 Nov 2022 | Australian Open |
Fourteen-year-old Harris' move to Melbourne capped with ISPS HANDA Australian Open berth
by Australian Golf Media
One of the youngest female competitors ever to play in the ISPS HANDA Women’s Australian Open, fourteen-year-old Amelia Harris is excited to soak up the atmosphere on the Melbourne sandbelt this week.
Harris, who is currently completing year nine at Melbourne’s Rowville Sports Academy, secured her spot for the week at Monday’s pre-qualifying at Sanctuary Lakes and is thrilled to line up alongside some of the biggest names in world golf.
“It’s pretty exciting. It is a bit of an overwhelming feeling, but in a good way – I’m proud to be here,” said Harris whose first Professional appearance came in February’s Vic Open.
“I don’t want to be too nervous, I’m just excited to be able to play.
Harris will be following in the footsteps of current LPGA Tour player, Su Oh, who became the youngest player in the history of the Women’s Australian Open, when she competed as a twelve-year-old in 2009.
Already playing off a handicap of plus-two, Harris – who got into the game through a MyGolf clinic at the Half Moon Bay Golf Club in Cairns – moved to Melbourne at the beginning of last year.
“I moved to try and get a better golfing experience,” said Harris, who began her time as a Victorian with victory at the Australian Interstate Teams matches earlier this year.
Since then, the move has continued to yield bountiful results, as Harris has enjoyed extensive success in the last twelve months.
In September, she claimed victory at Kingston Heath – one of the host courses this week – at the adidas Junior 6 Tour World Final, before more recently claiming the Yarra Yarra Golf Club Championship on the final hole.
Valuable sandbelt experience, Harris can take some comfort in the fact that she will be teeing it up close to home, on familiar courses.
“I’ve played them (Kingston Heath and Victoria Golf Clubs) enough to know the courses,” explained Harris. “I was able to win at Kingston Heath and have played a couple of tournaments at Victoria.
Courses that will each demand the best of the world-class fields who will compete this week, Harris knows she has the ability to hit the pinpoint shots required for success.
“My irons (are the best part of my game),” she said. “That’s what I work on the most – my distance control and shot shaping.”
An added benefit of playing on the Melbourne sandbelt, is that Harris will have the support of family, friends and fellow Yarra Yarra members.
“My best friend and my mum and dad will be out here watching,” smiled Harris.
“Hopefully the Yarra Yarra members are excited too,” she said. “They are all really supportive and have all been really nice to me ever since I got here.”
Although she might have set her sights initially on making the 36-hole cut, Harris is not afraid to dream of teeing it up alongside her heroes when the whips are cracking later in the week.
“I would love to be playing with Hannah Green on the weekend.”
Harris’ ISPS HANDA Australian Open campaign gets underway at Kingston Heath on Thursday at 8:28am.
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