Becky Kay, one of Australia’s top ranked female amateurs, will compete against the men at next week’s Isuzu Queensland Open.
This is the first time in the 94-year history of the Queensland Open that a female will participate in the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia event.
“I can’t even believe it right now,” an ecstatic Kay said.
“I think when it comes to the day I will be so nervous and excited at the same time.
“This year has been great for my goals. I’ve won plenty of events, had the Karrie Webb Scholarship, and I’ve ticked some goals off.
“I’ve been lucky enough to travel with Karrie Webb and her scholarship the past two years. I’ve had an amazing experience with her and she has taught me so much. She is a great mentor and a friend.”
The 19-year-old has had a brilliant year including back-to-back wins at the Riversdale Cup, SA Amateur and WA Amateur earlier in the year, and most recently representing Australia at the World Amateur Teams Championship in Ireland.
Kay achieved the exemption during a Queensland High Performance event trial at The Brisbane Golf Club where she posted a 2-under round from the men’s championship tees to earn her spot.
While her goal is to make the cut, a feat no woman has achieved in an ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia tournament, Kay is aware that the men in the field have a distinct advantage.
“(Playing off the championship tees) will definitely change the way I play the course. The course is going to be a lot longer and my short game will have to be on fire.”
The par-4 447m 5th hole will be one of the many challenges Kay will have to overcome, with the championship tees positioned a further 129m back from her usual women’s tees.
However what Kay lacks in distance she makes up for in course knowledge training at The Brisbane Golf Club with QAS at least once a week.
While she has played in many professional women’s events before, playing against an all-male professional field will be a first for the Coolangatta-Tweed Heads member.
Kay says she will be supported on course by her “extremely excited” father as caddie for the week and will draw inspiration from friends like Hannah Green who have shared a similar experience.
“My good friend Hannah Green has played in the WA Open a few times and she is playing on the LPGA Tour right now. She has been my idol growing up and is an absolutely amazing person, and great friend”
“I am stoked to be following in her footsteps.”
“I am really excited and hoping to play well next week at the Isuzu Queensland Open.
Isuzu Queensland Open Tournament Director Luke Bates said Kay will be a fantastic addition to next week’s event and will attract golf and sporting fans in Queensland to appreciate her talents and see her in action.
“Becky has a bright future ahead in golf and this is a great way to showcase her talents, an opportunity to take her game to the next level alongside some of the best men’s players in the country.” Bates said.
“Golf is a wonderful and unique sport where men and women of all ages can play together. We are pleased to demonstrate this at an elite level and wish Becky the best of luck at the Isuzu Queensland Open.”
The 2018 Isuzu Queensland Open will be played from 1 - 4 November at The Brisbane Golf Club. Visit the website for more information.
Headlines at a glance
Birdie bonanza gets Burdett the win
Victorian Adam Burdett has won in the west with a standout round of 5-under 67 at the Kwinana Pro-Am.
Japan Golf Tour
Consistent Kennedy a contender at Kansai Open
Wherever the Kansai Open Golf Championship happens to be played, Brad Kennedy emerges as a contender.
Gaunt returns to European Tour in Denmark
Four years after banking the biggest cheque of his professional career, Daniel Gaunt has accepted an invitation to tee it up in this week’s Made...