Playing golf in China seems like a long way away to Tahlia Holmberg but, then again, so did qualifying for the Victorian team at the Aaron Baddeley International Junior Championship.
The Neangar Park golfer went into last Sunday’s ABIJC Victorian qualifying event at Yering Meadows without any expectations.
The last time she played at the course she was disqualified after taking some dodgy rules advice from a competitor’s father and her form in the lead-up was below par.
Her most recent round helped her forget all that, though.
Holmberg, 17, shot 80 off the stick to finish second in her age group, earning her a berth in the Victorian side to play the ABIJC national event in October.
“It was definitely one of the best results I’ve had,” Holmberg said.
Playing through the back nine, she had no idea she was in contention for the top-two and a spot on the state side.
“I knew I was playing well, but I definitely didn’t know that,” she said.
“I had a pretty good round, but it could have been better. I could have made a couple more putts.”
While Holmberg believed there was room for improvement, the year 11 Bendigo Senior Secondary Student finished right on her handicap of eight at the par 72 course.
Many of her competitors had handicaps nearing scratch, but didn’t handle the soggy conditions as well.
Holmberg has a number of tournaments coming up – including events at Camaspe, Sorrento and Werribee – before the ABIJC national at Heritage Golf and Country Club.
If she finishes top-two, she’ll earn a spot on the Australian team for the international tournament in China – following in the footsteps of fellow Neangar Park golfer Lucas Herbert, who was runner-up last year.
For now, Holmberg will continue to practice three times a week, as well as playing in Neangar Park’s weekend competitions, to stay in swing before October.