Oh in driver’s seat after classy round 

SIXTEEN-year-old Oh Su-Hyun needed her dad to drive her to Belmont Golf Club yesterday but required no assistance driving into a southerly gale  and a four-shot lead at the Lake Macquarie Women’s Amateur Championships.

After day two of the 72-hole event the  Melburnian  leads the field at 141, five under par, with rounds of 71 and 70.

Day one on Tuesday was notable for roasting temperatures of 40 degrees fanned by a fierce westerly wind.

A drop in the mercury overnight due to a strong southerly change created different but no less challenging conditions for the field.

Belmont’s Aliza Huff had shared the first-round lead at two-under with Oh, Ali Orchard (Surfers Paradise) and Tatiana Wijaya (Cottesloe), but she dropped off with a five-over 78 that included four bogeys and one double bogey.

Huff (149) sits in third place behind Oh (141) and Orchard (145).

Belmont’s Layne Flannery is 34th with 166 and clubmate Tess MacDonald (173) and the Vintage’s Madison Boyd (187) are well outside contention in 44th and 54th place respectively.

 ‘‘I think the course is harder when the wind is coming from the south,’’ Oh, playing in the event for the first time,  said yesterday.

‘‘I thought today’s conditions were harder than yesterday.

‘‘Yesterday I didn’t have any good scores, I just didn’t have any terrible holes. Today I hit some good shot and putts and was a lot more solid.’’

With a handicap of plus seven and a world ranking of 10th, Australia’s No.1 amateur female was always expected to dominate at Lake Macquarie.

‘‘I’ve always wanted to come up here because everyone has told me it’s a pretty course with challenging conditions,’’ she said.

Next week  Oh will line up for her fifth Australian Amateur.

In 2009 she became the youngest entrant at 12, but  has never progressed past the final 16.

Oh believes she can claim the crown on the sandbelt at Commonwealth and Woodlands Golf Clubs in Melbourne if she carries her current form from Belmont. 

‘‘I feel like I’ve improved a lot since the last Australian Amateur and I have more experience in matchplay and I’m probably in my best form ever,’’ she said.

Prodigy is a term often associated with Oh, especially after her victories at the Australian Junior Amateur and Victorian Amateur. Most pundits believe she will become a leading professional when she turns 18.

But Oh is not getting carried away by the hype.

‘‘There’s so many good golfers out there now at my age,’’ she said.

Oh Su-Hyun hits a tee shot during her round yesterday.    Picture: Dean Osland

Oh Su-Hyun hits a tee shot during her round yesterday. Picture: Dean Osland


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