Garvey just a teen and pretty keen to do well
Christchurch schoolgirl Amelia Garvey almost had to pinch herself as she strolled around the Clearwater course yesterday.
The 13-year-old Burnside High School student became the second youngest golfer to play in the New Zealand Women's Open after gaining one of the six qualifying spots.
The amateur was not overawed by the occasion, opening with seven pars and at one stage sat above golfing superstar Lydia Ko on the leaderboard.
Garvey ended up carding a four-over par 76 after landing a bogey on the par-three fourth and then double bogeying the 339m sixth hole. She landed a birdie on the 313m third hole, which she was chuffed about.
The Kaiapoi club member was teamed in the same group as England's Eleanor Givens and Japan's Keiko Kubo, and said after she had completed her first hole she began to feel more composed.
''Yeah, I felt nervous on the first tee. I ended up putting it in the water, but I came back and made par. The nerves went after the first hole, they weren't too bad.''
Garvey, who is in the Canterbury senior women's side, missed the first day of the school year to compete in the tournament and said her classmates were following her progress closely.
When she logged into Facebook after completing her round, she had a raft of messages waiting for her. She had strong support in the galleries with her parents, sisters and friends cheering her on.
She has only played the Clearwater course about five or six times before and said she was pleased with how she had played, apart from ''two stupid holes, two double bogeys''.
The youngster, who lists Ko as her golfing idol, said she was pretty happy with her driving yesterday, but acknowledged her short game let her down at times.
''I've got to go out there and go for it [today]. I'm going to have to shoot under [par]. I'm going to go straight at the flag and make my putts.''
Garvey said playing in a professional tournament for the first time had been a major learning curve and provided valuable insight, and she has aspirations to one day make a living out of the sport.