The WPGA Tour returns to action this week with the all-new The Athena two-day event. Twelve of our best women golfers are set to compete in nine skill challenges one day, before the top-eight contest stroke play matches on Sunday – all covered on Fox Sports and Kayo.
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Inaugural event.
COURSE: The impressive Coolangatta & Tweed Heads Golf Club welcomes the debut of this event and 12 of the country’s brightest golfing prospects this weekend.
Possessing two courses (River & West) both ranked in Australia’s Top-100 Public Access courses by Golf Australia magazine earlier this year, the club has a tournament hosting pedigree and sits on the banks of the Tweed River.
A past host of the men’s Queensland Open, including the 1986 tournament won by Greg Norman, designers including Geoff and Ted Parslow, Peter Williams, Richard Chamberlain and Graham Papworth have undergone works on the two layouts, which have both been noted for their exceptional conditioning in recent years.
PLAYERS TO WATCH …
Despite this week signalling her return to competitive action after an extended break, reigning Ladies European Tour Rookie of the Year Steph Kyriacou is certainly one of the favourites this week.
Hailing from St Michael’s Golf Club in Sydney, Kyriacou won as an amateur at Bonville last year before turning pro and rising up to inside the top-150 of the world rankings via six top-10 finishes following her win.
Kyriacou will no doubt have a little rust to deal with, but will want to get her year off to a good start before heading overseas once again and continuing in her pursuit of an LPGA Tour card.
Finishing a very respectable T30 at the recent The Players Series event at Rosebud in Victoria, Karis Davidson is clearly playing some decent golf of late.
RIGHT: Karis Davidson played well in Victoria recently and will be one of the favourites this week on the banks of the Tweed. PHOTOS: PGA of Australia.
The Queenslander hasn’t been able to ply her trade as she normally does on the women’s Tour in Japan, but has been taking every competitive opportunity she can and will be very familiar with the layout.
Davidson was at one time on the brink of breaking into the top-100 on the world rankings and owns a runner-up finish at the Vic Open in 2018, making her one of the real favourites here this week even though she may not have the local profile of some others in the field.
THE FORMAT: On the first day, each player will have one shot at each challenge and will have one mulligan they can use throughout the day, with points awarded starting with 12 to the winner of each challenge. The nine challenges include among them, nearest to the pin, longest drive, trouble shot and long putt.
The second day will see the top-eight players go head-to-head in seeded stroke play matches, starting with four five-hole matches, followed by five-hole semi-finals and a three-hole final.
FULL PLAYER LIST: Kristalle Blum (SA), Justice Bosio (QLD), Steph Bunque (VIC), Robyn Choi (QLD), Karis Davidson (QLD), Rebecca Kay (QLD), Stephanie Kyriacou (NSW), Kono Matsumoto (VIC), Tahnia Ravnjak (NSW), Julienne Soo (VIC), Montana Strauss (VIC) and Sarah Wilson (QLD).
Day 1: Saturday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 12:30pm – 4:30pm)
Day 2: Sunday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 12:30pm – 4:30pm)
*AEDT, check local guides