‘Oh boy’: Aussie young gun’s $18 million call

Victorian Keeley Marx will play at the US Open. Picture Linda Higginson.
Victorian Keeley Marx will play at the US Open. Picture Linda Higginson.

Making a six-hour interstate drive on a “whim” proved a bountiful decision for Keeley Marx who earned a major debut in this week’s US Open where the 20-year-old Victorian is one of six Australians vying for a record $18 million in prize money.

Marx, who is in her second year at US College Iowa State, enlisted the help of her teammate as caddie and co-driver as the duo made the journey to the US Women’s Open qualifier at Briarwood Country Club in Arizona where she secured her spot after 36-holes interrupted late by rain.

Having missed out at her first try the week before in Texas, Marx found the only other event her that fit in a gap in her college schedule and now she’ll be flying the Aussie flag with world No.5 Hannah Green, 2022 US Open winner Minjee Lee as well as Gabriela Ruffels, Steph Kyriacou and Monday call-up Sarak Kemp at Lancaster Country Club in Pennsylvania.

“It was more of a whim, not going to lie,” Marx said of her decision to try a second qualifier.

“It was literally the only qualifier that would fit the college schedule so drove up there and I was like, Wow, OK, we got to do this.”

Marx was one off the lead after the opening round, then found out just how close she was when rain forced the suspension of play just three holes form the end of her second round.

“This guy is picking us up in the buggy and he’s like, ‘The leader is at 1-under, is that any of you guys?’” Marx said ahead of the biggest event of her career.

“And I’m thinking to myself, I’m 2-under; oh boy.

“We get off the buggy and I say to my teammate, ‘I’m really going to have to hold myself together for the last couple holes.’”

She did, winning by a shot, setting up not only her major championship debut, but another chance to get closer to her idol, and now her playing peer, American superstar Lexi Thompson

“I’m the biggest Lexi Thompson fan,” said Marx, who will take a break from summer classes at Iowa State to play her first major.

“When I was younger, if Lexi was doing it, I wanted to do it. I’ve met her a couple times when she was playing tournaments. I’d go watch her and she’d sign a glove for me.

“I feel like if I get to see her, I’m going to go up to her and be the biggest dork and go say hi. I’m a fan girl for sure.

“But it definitely is a great stepping stone into hopefully what I do.

“To play my first major, it’s really going to just show me what I can hopefully do in the future.”


Hannah Green, Minjee Lee, Gabi Ruffels, Steph Kyriacou, Keeley Marx, Sarah Kemp