HUNDREDS of hours of practice and persistence has paid off for Mandurah golfer Hayley Bettencourt after she won the Australian women’s LPG rookie of the year award.
Bettencourt picked up the prestigious Jan Stephenson Club Car award for being the most outstanding and consistent performer as a first-year professional on the Australian women’s tour.
Among her achievements while playing in 13 events on the tour this year were a third place at the Moss Vale Golf pro-am, representing the Mandurah Country Club at the New Zealand Women’s Open and the RACV Ladies Masters.
“I have had an amazing time learning all new things about the golfing industry,” she said.
“I am ready to give it my best shot as a playing professional and see where it can take me.”
She is currently in Morocco aiming to qualify for the 2017 women’s European tour season.
“I am also working towards a successful ALPG season in 2017,” she said.
“The events in Australia are an amazing experience and a goal for this upcoming season is to better my ranking on the ladies Australian rankings.”
Bettencourt (22) has been playing golf since she was eight years old and practices on all aspects of her game six times a week on courses in the Peel region.
“I like to have balanced practice, same amount of time at each area of the game,” she said.
“I love chipping and my driver is my strength in terms of hitting it straight every shot.”
Before turning pro, she won a state title in every state except Victoria and was captain of the WA women’s team for three years, with the team winning in two of those years.
“I really love the challenge that golf presents,” she said.
“I wasn’t the greatest talent at a young age but I stuck with it and started to win events.
“I was persistent with improving and I loved to win.”
Her role modes are Karrie Webb and Annika Sorenstam for their influence on women’s golf and Seve Ballesteros and Jack Nicklaus.
“I admire these guys because of the way they played golf when there was no technology on golf clubs,” she said.
“They also inspire me for the work they put into golf.”
Her goals include being a top female player in Australia and Europe and to be a role model and ambassador for girls and women’s golf.
“I would also like to experience this fantastic sport in as many countries as I can and support the industry,” she said.
Bettencourt hopes to be home in time for Christmas to take a short break and prepare for an exciting year in 2017.