24 Aug 2022 | Amateur golf |
In-form Aussies set for Parisian party
by Dane Heverin
Australia's quest for a fourth Espirito Santo Trophy - the Women's World Amateur Team Championships - begins on Wednesday afternoon with Kirsten Rudgeley, Kelsey Bennett and Maddison Hinson-Tolchard arriving in Paris in red-hot form.
Two of the finest golf courses in Europe, Le Golf National - which hosted the 2018 Ryder Cup and will host the golf competition at the 2024 Olympic Games - and Golf de Saint-Nom-la-Bretèche will play host and their layouts are set to suit the Australian trio in the 72-hole stroke play event.
Le Golf National combines a traditional links golf feel with the modern features of target golf courtesy of slick greens, vast undulating fairways, links-style bunkers and spectacular water hazards, while Golf de Saint-Nom-la-Bretèche demands elite short game skills due to the presence of pine trees, deep bunkers and very thick rough.
Rudgeley, Bennett and Hinson-Tolchard have been in action across the northern hemisphere in recent months and their international experiences, along with growing up on some of the best courses in the world, have them well-placed to excel in those testing conditions.
Less than two weeks ago, Bennett and Hinston-Tolchard shone at the US Women's Amateur.
Sydneysider Bennett bowed out on the 21st hole of a Round of 16 epic, while Oklahoma State University's Hinson-Tolchard was knocked out earlier in the previous round.
The pair showed off their ability to make birdies however, and they also stepped up on the big stage earlier in the year with Bennett reaching the quarter-finals of the R&A Women's Amateur Championship and Hinson-Tolchard winning the NCAA Stillwater Regional.
Fellow West Australian Rudgeley has also regularly been near the top of leaderboards this year too.
At the Augusta National Women's Amateur, she finished in eighth. She came sixth at the Queen Sirikit Cup - the Asia-Pacific Women's Amateur Teams Championship - and has two top tens from three starts in the United States.
Rudgeley also impressed Karrie Webb with her superb bunker play during her scholarship visit to the KPMG Women's PGA Championship - read the full story here.
The Australian trio's good form has them well-placed to become our nation's first team to win this event since Minjee Lee, Su Oh and Shelly Shin in 2014, while the men's team will play for the Eisenhower Trophy at the same venues next week.
Tee Times - Le Golf National - Wednesday 24 August AEST
4.33pm Kirsten Rudgeley, Navaporn Soontreeyapas (Thailand), Cayetana Fernández (Spain)
4.44pm Maddison Hinson-Tolchard, Suvichaya Vinijchaitham (Thailand), Paula Martin (Spain)
4.55pm Kelsey Bennett, Eila Galitsky (Thailand), Carolina Chacarra (Spain)
Hear from Kirsten, Maddison and Kelsey below.
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