World No. 1 Ash Barty may have decided to skip the US and French Opens but the coronavirus pandemic has not prevented her from collecting trophies and as of Sunday she was women’s champion at the Brookwater Golf Club.
The 24-year-old Australian, who famously played professional cricket during a year out from tennis, decided not to leave home for the US Open or her title defence at Roland Garros because of the pandemic.
Still waiting for Queensland border controls to be relaxed so she can be reunited with her tennis coach and resume training properly, Barty traded racket for club at the weekend and headed out onto the picturesque Brookwater course outside Brisbane.
The result, according to the Australian Associated Press (AAP), was a victory in the matchplay final at the club where her boyfriend Garry Kissick is a trainee professional.
Men’s club champion Louis Dobbelaar, a two-time Queensland amateur champion, has no doubts Barty could make it professionally in golf. “She’s got all the tools if she wants to pursue it. If she put her mind to it, I’m sure she could,” Dobbelaar told AAP.
“I’ve seen quite a lot of golfers come from different sports and she’s the one that stands out the most — by far actually. Her ball-striking’s really good. She just gets that naturally from tennis, the hand-eye stuff.”
Barty’s father Robert once represented Australia as an amateur and Tiger Woods has previously praised her form after watching her before last year’s Presidents Cup in Melbourne.
“She’s got a great swing, are you kidding me?” the 15-times major winner said.