Teen golf star takes pros out in MastersMention Korean teenage golf sensations and Michelle Wie leaps to everyone’s mind. But there is another up and coming star, only this time from the land down under. Amy Yang is a 16-year-old amateur who surprised everyone at the start of the year by outplaying senior pro golfers Karrie Webb, Laura Davies and Miyazato Ai to win the ANZ Australian Ladies Masters held at Royal Pines golf course in Queensland.
Yang holed a 6-meter birdie (20 foot) on the first playoff hole to edge out American Catherine Cartwright by a shot. She was the first amateur to play in an ALPG Tour event in Australia and to win a Ladies European Tour event since 1984 ― the Masters is recognized by both tours. She took the lead in the second round, and finished the fourth with a 2-under-par 70 for a 13-under total. In the fourth round, Yang hit a bogey on the 18th hole giving up two-stroke lead from the 17th hole as Cartwright birdied the last hole to tie.
Yang’s parents were both on the Korean national athletic team ― her father, Yang Jun-mo, was a rower and her mother, Jang Seon-hi, won a bronze medal in the javelin in the 1996 Seoul Asian Games. They met in Taeneung sports complex and got married. Her parents worked as physical education instructors in Seosan, South Chungcheong province. Yang began playing golf while she was in fourth grade and sensing her talent, and because there was no golf course in Seosan, her family moved to Australia to give her a chance to train.
Now she attends Robina High School on the Gold Coast a few kilometers from Royal Pines. Yang won the New Zealand Women’s Amateur Championship last year and the Queensland Amateur Championship this year. In the latter Yang’s drives were compared to those of Michelle Wie, and her iron shots to Pak Se-ri’s ― her average tee shot was 250 meters (270 yards). she also holed all her puts and was 0unbelievably calm for a 16-year-old girl as she held on to her lead in the third and fourth rounds.
by Sung Ho-jun
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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