A very happy Jordan O’Brien – photo Golf Australia
RACV Royal Pines member and employee, Jordan O’Brien, has today qualified for the Isuzu Queensland Open on her own merit, after recording a round of 67 from the same tees as the men to play her way into the field for the event beginning on Thursday.
The tees at the Pelican Waters Golf Club in Caloundra were, admittedly, more forward than will be the case when the event gets underway but it was an extraordinary effort over the Greg Norman designed layout and the petite (56 Kilo) golfer was delighted.
“I just went out and tried my absolute best. I wasn’t really expecting it to be honest so the feeling is incredible. I’m stoked,” O’Brien, 24, said.
“My coach (Ali Orchard) had told me ‘see it, feel it, trust it, you’ve only got something to gain today’ and I kept repeating that in my head.”
O’Brien, who is one of the golf shop staff at RACV Royal Pines on the Gold Coast, grabbed one of just 12 prized spots from pre-qualifying at Pelican Waters where 100 players teed up.
O’Brien’s coach, Ali Orchard, is a former playing professional and teaches at both RACV Royal Pines and the Surfers Paradise Golf Club where her father is the professional.
Orchard will have additional interest in the event as her life partner, Deyen Lawson, will also tee it up.
O’Brien said the 2018 effort of now-pro Becky Kay to create history as the first female to qualify for the Queensland Open was inspiring.
“Absolutely it is when you see other girls able to do it,” O’Brien said of how powerful role models are across all women’s sports in Australia.
“Just the feeling of being able to compete with the men off the same tees increases your confidence majorly.
“The game is moving in that direction to include women. To have spots available at this tournament is awesome and also what they are doing with the WPGA and the new Athena event.”
Isuzu Queensland Open organisers had already taken the progressive step of inviting five top female players directly into Thursday’s field…Kay, Steph Kyriacou, Karis Davidson, Sarah Wilson and Grace Kim