14 Mar 2017
Karis Davidson will spearhead the Australian team in China. Picture: KIRSTY WRICE
Australia has chosen an in-form team to contest May’s prestigious Queen Sirikit Cup in China.
Gold Coast duo Karis Davidson and Becky Kay will be joined by young Victorian Alizza Hetherington at Zhangjiagang Shuangshan Golf Club, near Shanghai, from 10-12 May vying for the mantle of Asia-Pacific’s top women’s team.
The 39th staging is the second as an affiliated event under the Asia-Pacific Golf Federation’s banner, with record entries expected from across the region.
The team will be managed and coached by Queensland's Virginia Irwin and fellow coach Sarah King, a former top amateur now teaching pro at Glenelg in South Australia.
Golf Australia high performance director Brad James said hopes were high for another competitive showing after Australia's bold second in South Korea last year.
But he said competing with the Koreans, who've won nine of the past 10 Sirikit trophies, would take the young team's best.
"It will be exciting to take an in-form team to China and pit ourselves against the best in our region," James said.
"We've seen in many of our big amateur tournaments in Australia this summer how deep the Korean girls' talent runs, so it will take our best.
"But the team we've selected is also strong and its members have each got what it takes to compete internationally.
"Karis played last year in the Queen Sirikit and Becky played the year before, so it will be good for them to show Alizza the international ropes."
The best two stroke scores daily for each team count towards the Queen Sirikit team event, while an individual prize is also up for grabs.
Australia last won the trophy in 2013 in Taiwan with Minjee Lee, Su Oh and Grace Lennon in the green and gold.
Davidson, Kay and Hetherington are hoping to emulate that squad with each in impressive form.
Davidson, 18, of Sanctuary Cove Golf Club, has been Australia’s top amateur throughout the past year, is fresh off victory in the Riversdale Cup last weekend and a semi-finalist at the recent Australian Amateur.
Kay, 18, of Coolangatta Tweed, was low amateur for the second time in three years at the ALPG event at Royal Pines in February after victory in the South Australian Junior Girls Masters.
Hetherington, 16, originally from Darwin but now based at Royal Melbourne, will make her Australian debut having been Victorian Amateur champion in December and recently having played in her first LPGA Tour event at the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open.
All three women elected to represent their country over their respective states at the concurrent Interstate Series in Perth.