01 Feb 2019
by Mark Hayes
Karis Davidson was rewarded for her great rookie year on the Japanese women's tour.
A record 12-strong rookie squad will benefit from Golf Australia support on the world’s professional tours this year.
Golf Australia high performance general manager Brad James today announced the 2019 rookie squad, with six new additions after a series of encouraging performances in recent months.
Six of last year’s squad – Brett Coletta, Karis Davidson, Cameron Davis, Hannah Green, Lucas Herbert and Travis Smyth – are back, joined by six new players who've trodden different paths to this point in their careers.
The 2018 ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia order of merit winner Jake McLeod and emerging Japan Tour star Anthony Quayle both earnt rookie squad positions by virtue of stellar years.
There are three newly minted pros who've come through state-based high-performance programs in Min Woo Lee, Zach Murray and Dylan Perry, while Queenslander Robyn Choi opted out of the University of Colorado when she won LPGA Tour playing rights at Q-school in December.
James said irrespective of their pathways to this point, he was confident the 2019 squad would continue their stellar progress on international stages, with many having already taken large strides.
“We have been delighted with the results previous members of the rookie squad have produced in years past and we believe those results have been made easier to achieve by the support the program affords them,” he said.
“Those who've recently turned pro should take comfort in that, not to mention the brilliant results they've achieved in the final stages of their amateur careers,” James said.
“And in the past year, to have watched the progress of Karis and Anthony in Japan, Cam, Hannah and Brett largely in North America, Trav and Lucas around Europe and Asia and Jake to be so strong in Australia has been extremely encouraging.”
“All 12 of these young athletes are branching out around the world, but it’s important they continue to utilise their service teams as they develop all aspects of their games – and work through the rigours of being professional athletes.”
All 12 receive reimbursed funding towards the investment they make in expanding their career through training, preparation, travel and competition.
GA’s high performance strategic objectives are to produce major and Olympic champions and to become a world top 100 ranked professional.
“The selection process for rookie scholarships was arguably the toughest to date, with so many great applicants,” James said.
“The good news is that with such a tough selection process, it means we have a really strong base of athletes which is exciting for the future of Australian golf.
“We look forward to working closely with these athletes and their teams to help support the long and hopefully successful journeys ahead of them.”
Golf Australia's 2019 Rookie Squad
Robyn Choi (1st year)
Brett Coletta (3rd year)
Karis Davidson (2nd year)
Cam Davis (3rd year)
Hannah Green (3rd year)
Lucas Herbert (2nd year)
Min Woo Lee (1st year)
Jake McLeod (1st year)
Zach Murray (1st year)
Dylan Perry (1st year)
Anthony Quayle (1st year)
Travis Smyth (2nd year)