Casey embarking on another trip-of-a-lifetime
Bathurst teenager Casey Thompson and her mum, Kelly, still talk about their trip to the 2016 Genesis Golf Link Cup National Final but she is about to embark on another golfing trip-of-a-lifetime.
Courtesy of winning her age group at last month’s Australian Junior Age Division Golf Championship at Capricorn Resort in Yeppoon, Queensland, the 15-year-old Bathurst Golf Club ace is heading to the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas for the 10th staging of the World Stars of Junior Golf Championship in July.
“I’m feeling very excited to get to know the Australian team and get to meet all new players from around the world and also a bit nervous,” said Casey, who has chipped her handicap down to 11.
“I’ve been improving, my mental game’s improved and just trying to focus more on the short game a bit more.”
Casey started playing golf before the age of 10, following in the footsteps of her 21-year-old brother, Dylan, who is a trainee professional at Bathurst Golf Club.
“My dad and my brother have all helped me to get to this stage,” Casey said. “Without them, I don’t think I would be where I am today.”
Kelly will join her daughter in Nevada for the three-day tournament which, in its history, has attracted more than 2,000 golfers from close to 50 countries.
“I’m very proud of her,” Kelly said. “I’m excited to go and see how she goes over there and be part of the Australian team.”
Casey had never been overseas until a family holiday to Fiji in January and the World Stars of Junior Golf will be the first time she’s competed outside Australia.
And while she’s hoping to play well in her international golfing debut, Casey also plans to soak up some Californian sun along the way.
“We’re going to try and go to Disneyland and Universal Studios and have a look around Los Angeles.”
While new memories beckon, Casey and Kelly still speak in glowing terms about their trip to New South Wales Golf Club in Sydney for the 2016 Genesis Golf Link Cup decider.
“My favourite course would have to be New South Wales, I got to play at New South Wales so that would have to be my favourite course to play at,” Casey said.
“That was an awesome trip, honestly, one of those ones that we will never forget,” added Kelly. “We still talk about it to this day.”
While family has been instrumental in Casey’s golf development, so too has Bathurst Golf Club professional Matthew Barrett and Central Western District Golf Association coach Bruce McLean.
Bathurst Golf Club is planning to host a charity day in the lead up to Casey’s US trip to help cover the cost of competing.
“There’s no funding at all,” Kelly said. “We have to pay for her entry fees which are [USD$375] into the competition, and that’s not cheap, and the accommodation, so if that just covers even a bit of that, that would be great.”