IT has been a big 12 months for amateur golfer Kirsten Rudgeley – now the top ranked amateur girl in WA and fifth overall for Australia – and the year ahead is shaping up to be a flyer.
The Year 12 St Stephen’s School Carramar student has notched up a few more titles to add to her already impressive list including winning the 2017 Women’s Amateur Championships of WA, the Ivie Temperley Trophy and the Special Achievement Award at the WA Sports Star Awards.
Even with these achievements to her name, Ms Rudgeley says she feels “pretty relaxed”.
“I don’t really feel nervous or anything,” she said.
Golf has been part of her life for as long as she can remember and is now “second nature” after starting with just a plastic golf set as a youngster.
“Dad got me going pretty young, when I was about four.
“Ever since then, I’ve just loved it!”
Now, aged 16, the current WA Ladies Amateur Champion has competed in her first professional tournament – the 2018 Women’s New South Wales Open – held earlier this month and has just broken the Western Australian Golf Club’s course record with a score of -8.
Her schedule for the year continues with golf cups and championships around Australia before jetting off for the Europe Golf Tour in June, all with her family by her side.
“Mum does the managing side of it, Dad’s my semi-coach and my brother Ben caddies,” she said.
Mum Donna Rudgeley credits her daughter’s determination and commitment to the sport.
“Kirsten’s ambition of playing in the most prestigious tournaments around the world has an impact on her social life but her decision to favour an early night for early morning travel to tournaments is a commendable attribute to her commitment,” she said.