07 Feb 2022 | Women and girls |

Final two invitees announced for The Athena

by Australian Golf Media

Molly McLean and Jade Shellback get the last two spots in The Athena field.

SANDY GOLF LINKS, MELBOURNE, VICTORIA: Victorian teen sensation Molly McLean and Royal Melbourne trainee professional Jade Shellback have been named as the final two players to compete in the Athena 2022.

The Victorian pair finished in first and second place in the Golf Challenge App Athena Q Series Leaderboard and WPGA CEO Karen Lunn had no hesitation in naming them as the final two participants.

“I would like to say a huge thanks to all of the women who participated in the Athena Q Series via The Golf Challenge App. Any of the top ten players would have been a great addition to The Athena, however we felt that the leading two players should be given the opportunity to compete.

Molly and Jade are both extremely talented golfers at very different phases in their golfing journeys. We look forward to telling their stories through the live broadcast on Fox Sports and Kayo.

This announcement means we now have five Victorian players for the local fans to cheer on during The Athena.

I would like to say a huge thanks to our Official Digital Qualification partner, The Golf Challenge, for hosting the Athena Q Series since November, a world-first of its kind in Professional Golf!

I would encourage all of those golfers out there to try each of the challenges on the Amateur Series on the Golf Challenge App. All you need to do is to download and the app to test your skills, then be sure to tune in to the live broadcast on Fox Sports or Kayo on the 26th to see how the best in the country do it!”

The Golf Challenge App CEO Clive Mayhew said “We are so pleased that two of our most active Golf Challenge players have been selected for the Athena 2022 with both scoring over 450 points out of a maximum 500. These scores are both the highest ever achieved on our App worldwide.

Molly McLean, our winner and most active player of the Golf Challenge in Australia, had 3 birdies on the 6 Hole Course Challenge, and 100% in 3 of the 5 Golf Challenges. You can see her Scorecard live on the Golf Challenge App or below.

We wish Molly and Jade all the best at the Athena on Feb 26 and 27, where their “Practice with Purpose” skill improvements integrated into the Golf Challenge App will give them both that extra confidence they need to become The Athena 2022 Champion.”

The Athena 2022 Final Field:

1.    Cassie Porter (QLD)

2.    Grace Kim (NSW)

3.    Grace Lennon(Victoria)

4.    Hanee Song (NZ)

5.    Jade Shellback (Victoria)

6.    Julienne Soo (Victoria)

7.    Karis Davidson (Queensland)

8.    Kelsey Bennett (NSW)

9.    Kirsten Rudgeley (WA)

10.  Molly McLean (Victoria)

11.  Sarah Wilson (Queensland)

12.  Steph Bunque (Victoria)

The Athena

  • Athena is the Greek goddess of war strategy and wisdom. She is a vibrant symbol of youthful strength.

  • The Athena in 2022 will be the first event ever live broadcast from a public golf course, Sandy Golf Links sitting in the heart of the famous Melbourne sandbelt.

  • The Athena gives the best young female golfing talent the platform and exposure they deserve to reach their full potential as quickly as possible on the world’s professional golf tours.

  • The Athena concept targets sports fans, not just endemic golf fans.

  • Illustration of the Athena 2022 competition format is here: https://theathena.wpga.org.au/athena_program.html

  • The Athena Q Series, a digital qualification system for final 2 playing spots in The Athena 2022 is a world first for golf.

  • The Athena 2022 will be broadcast LIVE on Foxtel, Kayo (online streaming), Sky Sport and Sky Sport Now (online streaming) from 12:30pm to 4:30pm (AEDT) on each of Saturday, 26 February and Sunday, 27 February.

  • 2021 was the inaugural year of The Athena with over 265,000 viewers of both live and replay broadcast on Foxtel alone. Data on viewership on other platforms (inc Kayo and Sky broadcast) were not available.

  • Negotiations with other international markets including South Korea and Europe continue.

  • Of the 12 women to compete in the Athena 2022, 9 are selected by the WPGA Futures Advisory Panel as the best young female players in our region (professional or amateur), 2 from the Athena Q Series and Hanee Song represents New Zealand through a new collaboration with Golf NZ for this concept.

  • Prizemoney for the winner of The Athena will be $30,000, an amount that proved to be significant for 2021 Champion Kristalle Blum’s ability to compete in Europe during the 2021 season.

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