13 Mar 2020 | Professional golf | Golf Australia |

Four new faces for GA Rookie Squad

by Mark Hayes

GA 2020 Rookie Squad_image

Four new faces have been added to Golf Australia’s 2020 Rookie Squad.

After the “graduation” of five of last year’s class, GA high performance general manager Brad James was thrilled to welcome two new women and two new men to the 11-strong group of emerging professionals as they seek to find their footing on global tours.

“We all witnessed the magnificent win by Steph Kyriacou as an amateur against a full field of Ladies European Tour stars at Bonville last month, then watched as she turned professional and took the card on offer,” James said.

“So she’s one type of example of what the GA Rookie Squad can do – help her as she takes the sudden transition into becoming a touring professional.

“We’re also happy that Becky Kay, who turned pro last year, has made the squad. We’re thrilled she has also joined her fellow Queenslanders Robyn Choi and Karis Davidson among our female rookies.”

On the men’s side, there are two other paths that have been trodden by the newcomers.

“Blake Windred had a magnificent 2019 as an amateur and so nearly won the Asia Pacific Amateur Championship before he turned professional,” James said.

“Then there’s Maverick Antcliff who, by anyone’s measure, had the most superb year in earning his way on to the European Tour by winning three times in China and taking that tour’s order of merit crown.

“Mav went to college in the United States and has been grinding hard around the world to get to this point in his career, so it highlights the different pathways available to become a GA rookie.”

Antcliff and Windred join the returning Brett Coletta, Zach Murray, Jake McLeod, Travis Smyth and Dylan Perry as the male rookies.

Cameron Davis, Min Woo Lee, Hannah Green, Lucas Herbert and Anthony Quayle, all of whom have enjoyed success on major tours, are the five who have “graduated” as rookies, but will still receive non-financial support from Golf Australia.

“They’ve been exemplary and we trust their hard work while they were a part of the squad is a beacon to all current and future GA rookies,” James said.

The announcements coincide with the release of all athletes who will be supported by GA around the country via a new “tiered” structure.

“The Rookie Squad are our Tier 1 athletes who receive reimbursed funding towards the investment they make in expanding their career through training, preparation, travel and competition, visas, caddie fees and the like,” James said.

“Our Tier 2 athletes receive greater access to international and national competitions at amateur and professional level. They also have access to added resources that complement and integrate with each athlete’s training environment including strength and conditioning, sports psychology, physiotherapy, coaching and competitive drills.

“Our Tier 3 athletes are similar to those in Tier 2, but at a developmental level.

“We have adopted a tiered structure to help young athletes make sense of the pathways through their state and territory high performance programs, through elite amateur golf and on to becoming young professionals.”

Golf Australia national program athletes for 2020:

Tier 1 Blake Windred (NSW, 1st year) Stephanie Kyriacou (NSW, 1st year) Travis Smyth (NSW, 3rd year) Becky Kay (Qld, 1st year) Dylan Perry (Qld, 2nd year) Jake McLeod (Qld, 2nd year) Karis Davidson (Qld, 3rd year) Maverick Antcliff (Qld, 1st year) Robyn Choi (Qld, 2nd year) Brett Coletta (Vic, 4th year) Zach Murray (Vic, 2nd year) Tier 2 Cassie Porter (Qld) Elvis Smylie (Qld) Jed Morgan (Qld) Lawry Flynn (Qld) Lewis Hoath (Qld) Louis Dobbelaar (Qld) Sarah Wilson (Qld) Jack Thompson (SA) Aiden Didone (Vic) Andre Lautee (Vic) Steph Bunque (Vic) Tier 3 Katelyn Rika (NT) Jake Hughes (NT) Blaike Perkins (Qld) Chris Crabtree (Qld) Conor Whitelock (Qld) Dylan Gardner (Qld) Hannah Reeves (Qld) Joel Stahlhut (Qld) Justice Bosio (Qld) Kyle Gray (Qld) Lisa Edgar (Qld) Mitch Varley (Qld) Quinnton Croker (Qld) Rhianna Lewis (Qld) Tyler Duncan (Qld) Zac Maxwell (Qld) Amelia Whinney (SA) Ben Tucker (SA) Billy Cawthorne (SA) Caitlin Pierce (SA) Charley Jacobs (SA) Eliza Baker (SA) Frank Vucic (SA) Jack Buchanan (SA) Jade Kinita (SA) Jordan Percey (SA) Liam Georgiadis (SA) Nick Siegmund (SA) Shakira Kuys (SA) Matilda Miels (SA) Dylan Backhouse (Tas) Hallie Meaburn (Tas) Jack Lakin (Tas) Joey Bower (Tas) Mackenzie Wilson (Tas) Oscar Burrell (Tas) Ronan Filgate (Tas) Alex Hilliard (Vic) Antony Majstorovic (Vic) Daniel Gill (Vic) Jasper Stubbs (Vic) Keeley Marx (Vic) Kono Matsumoto (Vic) Konrad Ciupek (Vic) Mitchell Crabbe (Vic) Phoenix Campbell (Vic) Piper Stubbs (Vic) Ted Donoghue (Vic) Tiana Wanigasekera (Vic) Toby Walker (Vic)

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