Australian Open golf; 14-year-old Amelia Harris to tee it up in national open

Amelia Harris has been given the green light to skip school at Rowville Sports Academy on Thursday and Friday for a pretty good reason.

The 14-year-old golfing phenom from Bentleigh in suburban Melbourne has an 8:20am tee time at Kingston Heath after winning her way into the Australian Open.

Already a club champion at her home club Yarra Yarra, which is part of Melbourne’s famed sunbelt, the “gun” teenager came through qualifying on Monday to earn her spot in the field for the first-ever dual-gender Australian Open.

She came through qualifying the day after winning the club championship in a feat which already has tongues wagging among Australia’s golfing fraternity

“It’s pretty exciting, sort of an overwhelming feeling, but not in a bad way,” Harris said before the opening round.

“I don’t want to be too nervous.”

Harris, who was “mucking around” with golf when she was five, moved south from Cairns at the start of last year to take the next step in her career.

In August, Harris equalled the course record (73) at Cairns Golf Club and in September beat older players to win the Junior 6s Tour World Final, which earned her exemptions in to other pro events.

She also played in the Vic Open in February as her first taste of a professional event, having won the Vic Junior Open to qualify.

Already playing off a handicap of plus four, having reached scratch when she was only 13, Harris said the individual nature of golf fuelled her love of the sport.

“It’s a single person sport, being able to do your own thing, and all the different choices you have in golf,” she said,

“And getting to play all the different courses and have all these different experiences.”

Harris said her support in the crowd would include her mum and dad, and her coach, Trevor Flegmore, would help her nerves this week, with making the cut her goal.

“Then if I make the cut, making the 54 hole cut,” she said.

“It’s pretty exciting.”

Originally published as Australian Open: Teenager Amelia Harris to tee it up against the world’s best

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