Kelsey Bennett went close to securing two major starts and a trip to Augusta National last year at the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific Championship, and this year, with the exploits of her club mate Harrison Crowe front and centre, she is keen to go one better than her second-placed finish in Qatar.
Clearly comfortable at this level, she needs not look too far for inspiration as to how to go one better this week in Thailand.
Bennett and last week’s Asia-Pacific Amateur winner Harrison Crowe both playing out of St. Michael’s Golf Club in Sydney’s south-east.
“Most definitely yeah,” Bennett said of whether she took a little extra motivation from Crowe’s win. “And I think this event last year for me inspired me as well, so should be really good.”
The pair also share the same coach, John Serhan, who Crowe credited with helping him get over the line last week at Amata Springs, something the 22-year-old Bennett plans on following suit this week at the Siam Country Club’s Waterside Course.
“I spoke to him (Serhan) at the airport on the way here and gave him a little bit of a rundown again after yesterday, so I usually speak to him every day,” she said.
As for the mentor’s advice?
“Just being very professional, obviously in your warm-ups, pre-shot routine, practice round, all of it. Just treating it like you would when you’re turn professional. And just play your game and keep your head in it and do your thing.”
Once again, just like Crowe, a career in the play-for-pay ranks is in the offing for the amateur World No.74, but she would also likely delay the decision to turn pro to take up starts at the AIG Women’s Open, Amundi Evian Championship, Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship and Hana Financial Group Championship.
“I am doing LET Q-School in Spain in December, so hopefully all goes well there and turn pro after that. It could change, we will see what happens, we will cross that bridge when we get there.”
As for her game ahead of this week, Bennett, who originally hails from Mollymook believes she is in good shape to potentially be the first winner from Australia since the tournament started in 2018.
“Feeling good. I mean getting used to climate is one thing and the different grass, but it has been really good,” Bennett said when asked to assess her game.
Now experienced at this level, and with it sitting as one of the final stops in a successful amateur career, even Bennett admits keeping the prizes on offer out of mind when competing against the region’s best is easier said than done.
“It’s a tough one. That’s the thing you’ve just got to go out there and play your game and just nor really think about it. One hole, one shot at a time.”
Bennett is joined by Kirsten Rudgeley, Maddison Hinson-Tolchard, Justice Bosio, Caitlin Peirce and Sarah Hammett on the representing Australia this week near Pattaya.