Bennett chasing rare golf double for club

Members at St Michael's Golf Club in Sydney may dare to dream of a stunning title double after Kelsey Bennett made a flying start to the Women's Amateur Asia-Pacific Championship.

Four days after clubmate Harrison Crowe won the men's Asia-Pacific Amateur, earning starts at the Masters and British Open, 22-year-old Bennett shot a five-under 67 on Thursday to be tied second after the opening round in Thailand.

Like 21-year-old Crowe, Bennett - who was runner-up in this event last year - is coached by former tour pro George Serhan.

Bennett carded six birdies on the Siam Country Club course to trail leader Liyana Durisic of Malaysia by one shot and was tied with Thailand's Natthakritta Vongtaveelap.

Also like Crowe, Bennett is chasing a victory which would earn starts in two major championships.

The winner gets invitations to next year's Women's British Open and Evian Masters as well as the Augusta National Women's Amateur.

Some of Bennett's Australian teammates also started well, with Justice Bosio at two under, a shot ahead of Sarah Hammett, while Maddison Hinson-Tolchard is at even par.

Young Japanese star Saki Baba is the highest-ranked player in the field as world No.4 after triumphing in the US Women's Amateur but she battled to an opening 73.

It is the fourth staging of the Women's Asia-Pacific Championship and inaugural winner Atthaya Thitikul of Thailand has already set an example that will be hard to top, rising to world No.1 in the pro ranks just four years later.