Aussie amateur just shy of Abu Dhabi glory

·2-min read

Young Australian golfer Kelsey Bennett has come agonisingly close to victory at the Women's Amateur Asia-Pacific Championship in Abu Dhabi, but ultimately had to be content with a share of second.

Bennett carded a final round four-under 68 at Abu Dhabi Golf Club to get the 15-under, one shot shy of tournament winner Mizuki Hashimoto of Japan.

Bennett - the 209th ranked amateur - was pleased with her efforts, having held things together after starting the day with a bogey.

"Today was really good. I was happy with the way I played," she said.

"Obviously, a few more putts could have dropped but I held it very well.

"I was nervous coming in the last few holes. After the bogey on the first hole I was thinking it's not very good but I managed to come back."

And Bennett, who played in the final group with Hashimoto and overnight leader Natthakritta Vongtaveelap had every right to be nervous with the champion earning entry to two majors in 2022 - the Women's British Open and the Evian Championship - and an invite to the Augusta National Women's Amateur in the week before the Masters.

Her fellow Australian Cassie Porter closed her promising week with a 74 to slip back to 8-under and 10th spot - having started Saturday in a share of fourth.

Hashimoto (68) holed out from the fairway for eagle on the third to set her up for a 68, as she made up a three-shot deficit.

Her victory came one week after Keita Nakajima won the Asia-Pacific Amateur and extended a big year for golf in Japan.

Hideki Matsuyama won the Masters, Tsubasa Kajitana won the Augusta National Women's Amateur and Mone Inami won a silver medal in the Olympic women's golf competition.

Hashimoto finished at 16-under 272 to become the second straight Japanese player to win the Women's Amateur Asia-Pacific, which began in 2018.

Yuka Yasuda won in 2019, and the event was not held last year because of the pandemic.

Thai duo Vongtaveelap (72) and Kan Bunnabodee (66) tied for second with Bennett.

with AP

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting