I just finished off my first LPGA tournament of my rookie season at the ISPS Handa Australian Women’s Open! It was my first time Down Under and a trip I’ll never forget. Melbourne is such a beautiful and amazing city, except everything is so expensive! A regular bottle of water at the hotel was $4.50AUD! So the first few days, my caddy (dad) and I, decided to take the train and bus to the golf course to save a bit of money rather than take a taxi (we arrived in Melbourne a week early so there were no shuttle services provided yet). It took a good hour and half each morning to get to the course, and we got a lot of stares at the train station with my golf clubs! At Royal Melbourne Golf Club, I got to meet the head pro, Richard, who really took care of me throughout the week. I also made friends with all the pro shop guys who are just some of the nicest people I’ve met. Once they found out I’ve been taking the train to the golf course everyday, they offered to give me a rides!
On the first day, as I was walking to the bus stop heading back to the hotel, a member from Royal Melbourne GC pulled up and offered to give me and my dad a ride to the train station. It was great since it saved us a long walk with golf clubs. It was dinner time, so before getting back to the hotel, we stopped by a restaurant near the train station. Again, we got quite a few stares at the restaurant, walking in with golf clubs. People sitting at a table next to us probably thought we were neurotic and thought we didn’t trust leaving clubs in a car. After explaining our train situation, they laughed. We ended up conversing with them throughout dinner and had a great time. After dinner, they insisted and gave us a lift back to our hotel. The second day after practice, another member at Royal Melbourne, named Tony, offered to give me and my dad a drive back to our hotel. Not only did he give us a ride back to the hotel, but he gave us an hour tour around the city! It was awesome! The next two days, we got a ride from Tom the assistant pro, and Aaron the director of golf at Royal Melbourne. I will never forget the acts of generosity I received from the people at Royal Melbourne.
So onto the golf side of things.. I made my first LPGA cut this week! Royal Melbourne was definitely a fun test of golf and I had 2 good rounds that helped me finish T47th. A decent start to my rookie season. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Rebecca Lee-Bentham from Toronto, Canada. I am currently 19 years old and earned full status on the LPGA tour for 2012. I first started golf at the age of 12, and I can’t believe that just 8 years later, I’m living my dream on the LPGA tour. I never expected my life to change so fast! I remember just 3 years ago, I first met Morgan Pressel, Annika Sorenstam, and Alena Sharp at a charity event at Magna Golf Club in Ontario, Canada. They picked several junior players to participate, and gave us a chance to play a hole with the pros. No doubt was I in awe when I got to play a hole with them.
Now, all of a sudden I’m on tour with them. I’m literally hitting, putting, and eating beside all these players I’ve watched on TV growing up. I have to say I feel truly blessed to be where I am today. It definitely wasn’t easy, but I’ve been fortunate in so many ways. I am so thankful for the support I’ve gotten from so many people over the years. I know that I couldn’t have made it this far alone. God has truly blessed my life, and I am so excited for what the future has in store!
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