GOLF: Things are falling nicely into place for 16-year-old Ashley Lau who this week added the Katherine Kirk Classic to her impressive golfing resume.
Ashley, who lives in Malaysia but has been studying at Hills International Academy on a 12-month scholarship, shot rounds of 70, 70 and 67 at Maroochy River to beat a top field of junior golfers by nine shots.
Almost from the time she took up golf as a nine-year-old, Ashley has been plotting a course that will almost certainly lead to her becoming a professional within the next few years.
"I want to go to a golf college and get a scholarship,” she said. "If my golf keeps improving, I will turn pro one day.”
Ashley's 5-under final round equalled the ladies course record set by last year's champion Robyn Choi. She landed the $42,000 scholarship to Hills International when she won the girls 15-18 category in the International Junior Golf Championship in Kuala Lumpur last year, beating US junior champion Princess Mary Superal in a playoff.
The vastly experienced teenager, who learnt golf from her dad Cecil, played in this year's Indonesian Ladies Open, Thailand Ladies Open, and she's a regular in events like the Junior World Championship.
"It is my first time playing this course and I am really happy with the win,” Ashley said. "I am looking forward to heading back home to Malaysia now.”
Ashley's remarkable effort was almost overshadowed by 13-year-old Tasmanian Hallie Meaburn, who holed out on the short 12th hole in the final round on Tuesday.
With her grandmother, legendary Tasmanian golfer Lindy Goggin, urging her on, Hallie shot rounds of 84, 84 and 76 in a performance that hinted at a bright future.
Second place went to Min Kweon (Sanctuary Cove) who finished the tournament at even par with rounds of 73-68-75 (216) with Darcy Habgood (Toowoomba), a further shot back in third. Best of the locals was Cassie Porter (Peregian Springs) with rounds of 73, 76 and 74 for eighth, and Danika Coyne (Maroochy River) who shot 79, 74, 74 for ninth.
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