22 Dec 2021 | Amateur golf | Professional golf |
New opportunity for Australia's elite female amateurs
by Dane Heverin
Some of Australia’s best female amateur golfers have taken out the new Future Tour Affiliation Membership (FTA) with the WPGA Tour of Australasia for 2022 to make the transition from amateur to professional golf smoother.
New South Wales’ Kelsey Bennett, Queenslander Sarah Wilson and Western Australian Kirsten Rudgeley are the initial elite amateurs to sign up for the membership which gives them the opportunity to earn an exemption into most, if not all, WPGA Tour sanction events in 2023.
That trio - plus the other amateurs who sign up for the FTA - will play for the “2022 Unofficial Order of Merit” at WPGA tournaments this summer with points to be allocated based on how much they would have earned if they were a professional from their final position in the field.
The top three in the standings at the end of the season will earn category 4B exemptions for 2023 and WPGA Tour of Australasia CEO Karen Lunn is delighted to increase the Tour’s connection with elite amateurs.
"The Future Tour Affiliate membership will provide Australia's leading female amateur golfers with a unique pathway from the amateur game to the WPGA Tour,” Lunn said.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for our elite amateur players not only to gain valuable experience playing alongside some of our leading professional players, but along the way accumulating ranking points that could see them securing playing status on the WPGA Tour in the following season.
“The timing of the decision to turn professional is often a difficult one for amateur golfers to make, and the WPGA Future Tour Affiliate Membership will both provide players with a chance to see if they are genuinely ready for that transition and if they are, provide them with the luxury of being able to plan their following season well in advance."
Golf Australia General Manager - High Performance Brad James is also thrilled with the latest addition in the pathway from amateur to professional golf.
“We’re delighted for our elite female amateurs to have greater opportunities to develop by playing professional tournaments amongst high quality fields.
“Kelsey, Sarah and Kirsten have performed strongly in both amateur and professional events to date, and we’re excited to watch them – and the other amateurs who will take up the Future Tour Affiliation Membership - develop further over the summer while playing on the WPGA Tour of Australasia.”
“Thank you to Karen Lunn and the WPGA for their hard work to make this opportunity come to fruition.”
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