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19th November 2015 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Park poised for SA Women’s Open pro debut

CarriePark_SLTAfter a memorable top five finish in the IGT Tour’s Race to Q-School this week, Carrie Park from South Korea is primed to take her place among the professionals in the 2015 South African Women’s Open at San Lameer Country Club in KwaZulu-Natal from 29 November to 1 December.

“I am really excited to launch my rookie season on the Hibiscus Coast,” said Park. “When I made my debut in the SA Women’s Open as an amateur last year, I shot 79 and 82, two of the worst scores I have posted in years. We had so many rain delays and with all the stops and starts, I just never got going.

“I’ve worked really hard the past three months and have been testing my game on the IGT Tour. I believe I am ready to take the plunge on the Sunshine Ladies Tour.”

Park moved to South Africa in 2011 and attended Southdowns College.

She enrolled at the GFG Academy and it wasn’t long before she started representing Gauteng North on provincial and national level.

The petite golfer dominated the women’s amateur circuit in 2013 and her victory in the 2014 Sanlam SA Women’s Stroke Play Championship put an exclamation mark on the blossoming potential that carried her to the number one spot in the Womens Golf South Africa Senior Rankings.

She also made her mark among the amateurs on the Sunshine Ladies Tour in 2013 with a second, a third and a six place finish in the three Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies tournaments.

Park won the Gauteng North Stroke Play and Match Play Championships in July and a week later, signed off on a brilliant amateur career when she defeated GFG Academy stable-mate Ivanna Samu to claim the ‘double’ in the Sanlam SA Women’s Amateur Championship at Kloof Country Club.

“The Sanlam SA Women’s Amateur Stroke Play and Amateur Championships were the two events I really wanted to win,” Park said.

“Once I accomplished that in July, I focussed on getting my game ready to join the pro ranks on the Sunshine Ladies Tour. I was so pleased to learn that the SA Women’s Open would go ahead as a national championship this year. It really is the jewel in the crown of our women’s golf circuit and it’s another title I have my sights on.

“I have always enjoyed playing in KwaZulu-Natal, especially on the Hibiscus Coast and I’m excited to return to San Lameer. The course is really tight and there is water danger at almost every hole.

“It’s the kind of course that demands that you be at the top of your game, because every shot and every hole counts. The secret is to play to your strengths and to make your game work for you.

“I have hit some good form at the just the right time and that feeds the confidence.”

Over the past eight weeks, Park has been competing on the country’s premier development Tour against the likes of Samu, Melissa Eaton from KwaZulu-Natal, Namibia’s Bonita Bredenhann, Nobuhle Dlamini from Swaziland and professionals Alana van Greuning, Michelle Leigh and Tijana Kraljevic.

“We are all travelling to the Hibiscus Coast at the end of November, so it’s been great to have a little tournament within the IGT Tour events to lift our competitive levels,” Park said.

“Melissa and Ivanna have done well and will definitely be players to watch in this year’s SA Women’s Open. Nobuhle has also come into form again after working on several swing changes this year and could well spring a surprise in this year’s championship.

“With Lee-Anne Pace returning to defend, it’s can’t be anything but an excellent championship. I am really excited to take the next step in my career, and hopefully the weather will play its part and we will have a fantastic tournament.”

PHOTO: Reigning Sanlam SA Women’s Amateur champion Carrie Park will make her Sunshine Ladies Tour pro debut in the 2015 SA Women’s Open at San Lameer Country Club on the KwaZulu-Natal’s Hibiscus Coast from 29 November to 1 December 2015; credit Justin Klusener.

Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the SA Women’s Open, WPGA and Sunshine Ladies Tour.