By Anthea Solomon
Rebecca Kay, the Gold Coast teenage sensation dominated the qualifying event at Royal Pines to play in the ALPG/LET co-sanctioned RACV Ladies Masters earlier this month.
This was Kay’s second appearance at the Masters and she was quoted as saying “I didn’t think I’d get through, so I was really excited to get another chance to play in the Masters”.
And get through she did, taking full advantage of her local knowledge firing very tidy rounds of 74, 70, 73, 73 and finishing the tournament tied 6th whilst also snatching the leading amateur as well.
Talking to Golf Australia Beck said “I’ve been playing well for a while… and it’s great to get reward for all the hard work I’m putting into my game”. The teenager was rewarded in more ways than one as she was paired with Ssu-Chia Cheng during the final round. Both Cheng and Kay attracted a sizeable gallery which bought a great atmosphere to the group as they made their way around the course.
After opening with a bogey, the jitters soon disappeared, as Beck seemed determined to reward the supportive home crowd with several birdies and a chip in. The youngster narrowly missed an eagle at the 18th to finish with a tap in birdie. The spectators in the grandstand left their seats for a standing ovation as Beck reached down to retrieve her ball from the hole, a fitting reward for a tenacious round.
Beck isn’t unaccustomed to the limelight and has a strong list of achievements. Last year she reached the semi-finals of the Australian Amateur Championships at The Australian only to be beaten narrowly by Shelly Shin 3-&-2. Beck was also a key player in the successful Australian team competing for the Astor Trophy at The Grange in Adelaide in mid-January which returned the Commonwealth teams trophy to Australia.
Beck said “ to be involved with the team in Adelaide was fantastic. We had a great team bond and … it was good to know my game stacked up against the girls from the other countries”.
Queensland Academy of Sport Head Coach Tony Meyer was quoted as saying “She’s always been a good golfer, but she’s beginning to get stronger through her work at the QAS (Queensland Institute of Sport) and you can see how her game has come along. If she continues to work hard in all areas of her personal development, Becky could become a really good amateur and hopefully have a good professional career”.
Insight: I had the pleasure of sitting next to Beck on a flight from Coolangatta to Sydney last year as she was heading to Woollongong for the NSW Subaru State Championships.
As I opened up my Golf Australia magazine we both got to talk about where we played and who we had played with. It was great to talk to her on that trip and I was really impressed with her maturity, level headedness and what a truly lovely person she was (and I also got to thinking about what fantastic parents she must have as well).
It was an absolute pleasure following Beck at the Masters on Sunday. The most noteable memory I took away from the day was that Beck didn’t let the bogies nibble away at her, she really enjoyed herself and patiently matched the bogies with birdies showing great focus and belief in her game.
I look forward to following Beck on her journey as she continues her work with the Queensland Academy of Sport and starts heading to more international tournaments.