CRISTIE KERR AT HOME IN WINE COUNTRY
World No. 9 Cristie Kerr is making her 2018 season debut at this week’s ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open. It’s her second career start at the event; she finished T51 in 2012 at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club.
As an aspiring sommelier with her own wine label (Kerr Cellars), Kerr is right at home in Adelaide and has been spending her afternoons away from the golf course studying the different wines in the world-famous Barossa Valley.
“I bought a couple of cases of wine and trying to figure out how to ship it back now,” Kerr said. “I love experiencing different wineries in the States and it was great to get the private tour there [Penfolds winery] and to be able to purchase some wines that we can’t get in the States. It’s all research for me, I’m studying to be a sommelier, but I’m also here for the golf.”
Kerr will get her first round underway in Australia at 1:07 p.m. on Thursday alongside Team USA Solheim Cup teammate Austin Ernst and Wei-Ling Hsu, who was the runner-up at the season-opening Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic.
SO YEON RYU THE ‘HONORARY AUSSIE’
World No. 3 So Yeon Ryu is playing the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open for the first time since 2015 this week, but she blends in well with the Aussie crowd as she frequently indulges in the Australian staple “vegemite”.
“I’m good friends with Sarah Jane Smith and then she always carry the Vegemite,” Ryu said, “then every morning when I meet her in the dining, I ask, “Can I borrow your Vegemite?” She said, “If you eat Vegemite, you’re definitely an honorary Aussie.” So, she called me an honorary Aussie.”
Ryu is making just her fourth career start at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open this week, but has fond memories of the tournament since she was runner-up in 2012. Ryu says the Kooyonga Golf Club poses a unique challenge with tricky and undulating greens.
“You have to have great course strategy,” Ryu said. “You definitely need a good caddie’s advice as well, so I would say if somebody is in good condition with their long game, they will definitely have a chance to win the Tournament and hopefully that’s going to be me.”
Watch So Yeon Ryu’s pre-tournament press conference here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAzRV-UDEKw
ZOEE DOLLING NAMED AWARD RECIPIENT FOR LPGA’S XL CATLIN VOLUNTEER SERVICE AWARD
A new program launched in 2018 to recognize exemplary volunteers at each LPGA tournament. Currently in her third year as a volunteer at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, Zoee Dolling was nominated by tournament representatives and will be presented with a service award plaque during tournament week, Feb. 15-18.
In addition, Dolling will join other tournament volunteers nominated throughout the year for a season-ending random drawing that will award a donation of $10,000 in the winning nominee’s name to the charity of the tournament for which the volunteer serves. The tournament charity for the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open is Soldier On, Australia’s only national fully integrated and holistic support services provider for national service personnel and their families.
For more information on the XL Catlin Volunteer Service Award, visit http://www.lpga.com/tournaments/xl-catlin-lpga-volunteer-service-award