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Kiwi company for Ko in professional ranks


Rising New Zealand golfer Amelia Garvey has turned professional in time for the US Women’s Open to held at The Olympic Club next week.

Photo: Tim Cowie Photography

Garvey had initially planned to enter the professional ranks at LPGA qualifying school in August, but changed her mind after talking to her coach Ryan Lumsden following her three-person playoff win at the US Women’s Open qualifying tournament in Los Angeles earlier this month.

The communications student finished her college career at the University of Southern California just a few days ago.

“It doesn’t feel real to be honest. To be able to call myself a professional is weird as it’s something I’ve been working towards for so long and now the day has finally come. I don’t think you could write the script any better,” Garvey said.

“I actually didn’t think about turning professional until I qualified for the US Women’s Open a few weeks ago. I spoke to my coach that night and he asked if that was something I had thought about.

“It worked out perfectly with my last college tournament being the NCAA Championship this week and not really having too much planned until LPGA Q-School.

“Yes, it is a fairly quick transition, but I think it’s too good of an opportunity to pass up and everything has fallen into place really nicely since I made the decision.”

Garvey has lofty goals as a professional.

“Fittingly I want to win a major. I was born in England and I’ve always wanted to win the British Open and now that golf is in the Olympics, I wouldn’t mind being an Olympian and win a gold medal as well. That’s what gets me out of bed in the morning.

“Those are my two ambitions, majors and medals.”

Amelia Garvey

Amelia Garvey
Photo: Photosport

The US Women’s Open will be Garvey’s second major appearance.

She played in the tournament last year as an amateur and “learned a lot from that”.

“I’m still going out to play the game that I love and I’m going to continue to do that into my professional career. I play my best when I’m having fun. I was preparing to win the US Open as an amateur, and now I’m preparing to win it as a professional.

“My goals are around my processes and how I stick to them.”

Reconnecting with fellow Kiwi Lydia Ko as well as major champions Hannah Green and Patty Tavatanakit is next on the agenda as she hopes of playing a practice round with them.

Garvey was a recipient of the Lydia Ko scholarship in 2018 and spent a week with Ko at Scottsdale National Golf Club.

She will also turn to her college teammate Gabriella Ruffels who transitioned to the professional game earlier this year for some words of wisdom.

“It’s nice to have some friends who have been through what I’m about to go through that I can reach out to. I want to get some knowledge on how they were feeling at the time and how they dealt with it,” Garvey says.

Following her week at The Olympic Club, Garvey will play four women’s All Pro Tour events and one Cactus Tour event in preparation for the LPGA Qualifying School stages that begin in August and culminate in December.

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