24 Oct 2023 | Amateur golf |
Aussies begin prep for World Amateur
by Martin Blake
Australia’s women’s team for the World Amateur Teams Championship in Abu Dhabi has arrived and begun its preparations … minus Justice Bosio’s clubs.
The Queenslander’s equipment failed to make it to the Middle East from Sydney yesterday and she was required to borrow teammate Maddison Hinson-Tolchard’s clubs when the three-player Aussie team ventured out for nine holes at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.
Team management are hopeful that Bosio’s set of clubs will arrive by today when the practice schedule ramps up for Wednesday’s first round. “It’s not ideal,” said Perth’s Hinson-Tolchard, who is the only member of Australia’s team to have contested a WATC before, in France last year. “She’ll muck around with mine so hopefully it’s okay.”
Hinson-Tolchard is coming off a big triumph at stage two of the LPGA Tour School in Florida, where she graduated to the final stage.
However she has taken the decision to skip stage three, where players must turn professional, and will remain as an amateur until she graduates from Oklahoma State University in May next year.
This means that she has the chance to play in next year’s Augusta National Women’s Amateur.
When she graduates from college, she will have Epson Tour status in the United States which she will take up as a professional. This gives her half a season on the secondary tour which traditionally carries 10 LPGA Tour cards for the top players across the season.
“I pretty much knew even if I did make stage three I was not going,” she said. “It was kind of tough because it was put in front of me ‘hey you’ve got an opportunity to go and get an LPGA card now’, but I’ve always wanted to graduate. I have my sights on the Augusta Women’s Amateur next year. There are a lot of good things I won’t miss out on if I stay as an amateur for a couple of months.
“I’ll have maybe 11 (Epson) events to play and I can still get my LPGA card if I play well enough in those. It’s a big ask but it’s definitely do-able.”
Hinson-Tolchard will be joined by two-time Australian Amateur runner-up Bosio and South Australia’s Caitlin Peirce in Abu Dhabi this week, trying to match or better the runner-up finish for the men’s Australian team last week in the Eisenhower Trophy competition.
“I’m happy where everything’s at,” she said. “I think this will be a good week as well. I just need to get over the jetlag as quickly as possible.
“In 2022 it was probably a little bit overwhelming. I’m just excited for this week. I know a lot of the girls here. It’s the best of the best in the world. We have a good chance and I’m going to go out and do my best.
“It was awesome to see the guys do well. It sets the bar pretty high for us this week. We want to do as good as them if not one-up them.”
Sweden is the defending champion this week.
Australia finished 14th last year in France, with Hinson-Tolchard joined by Kirsten Rudgeley and Kelsey Bennett, who have since turned professional.
AUSTRALIAN TEAM PROFILES
Maddison Hinson-Tolchard (WA) Age: 21 Club: Gosnells Former Australian Junior Amateur champion and Karrie Webb Scholarship holder who has been a brilliant performer during her time at Oklahoma State University. Caitlin Peirce (SA) Age: 21 Club: Royal Adelaide. A past Karrie Webb Scholarship holder and the reigning SA Amateur champion, and Australia’s best player at the recent US Women’s Amateur. Justice Bosio (QLD) Age: 19 Club: Caboolture. Runner-up at the Australian Amateur in 2022 and 2023, Bosio played at the Augusta National Women’s tournament this year, narrowly missing the cut.
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