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Young Murray Bridge golfers tee off for the US
Local club members Armani Marsters and Jaime Hards will both compete in the 2022 US Kids Golf World Teen Championships.
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Murray Bridge Golf Club members have farewelled two of their own as they head off to the United States to make names for themselves.
Armani Marsters and Jaime Hards are among six South Australians to have qualified for the 2022 US Kids Golf World Teen Championships.
The championships will take place at Pinehurst, North Carolina – known as the home of American golf – later this month.
Armani, from Murray Bridge, and Jaime, an Adelaide resident with membership of the local club, both hoped the trip would set them on a path towards pro golf careers.
The pair both planned to visit colleges with their families while they were over there.
Armani will also compete in the Callaway World Championships in Palm Desert, California; and the pair will go and watch the pros play on some of the United States’ best-known courses.
Jaime said her emotions had run high when she found out she had qualified a few months ago.
“It was like ‘oh my God, I’m actually gonna do this, no way’,” she said.
She first picked up her dad’s left-handed golf clubs as a young child, and showed enough interest that her family bought her right-handed clubs and she began entering competitions at age 10.
By the time she got to high school she had set her sights on the professional ranks.
Armani said she had come to the sport later – “I was 10” – to try and find some peace of mind after the death of an uncle to whom she was close.
She, too, hoped this trip would help her reach another level.
“The competition we’re facing, there are going to be some girls who are really good, better than us,” Jaime said.
“It’s going to show us where the best girls in the world are at and where we need to be to compete with them – then we can get better.”
Murray Bridge Golf Club was booked out for a farewell dinner and fundraiser last Wednesday night.
About 100 guests bid on various items in a silent auction, including a signed Don Bradman cricket bat put up by member Steve Angove, and entered a raffle alongside the dinner.
Many stayed afterwards to watch the third State of Origin rugby match.
Jaime said she and Armani were grateful for the sponsors and donors who had made their trip possible.
“They’re really supportive of what we want to do, and they want to give us the best experience we can possibly have,” she said.
“That’s so cool.”
“We’re just small-town girls and we’ve been given an opportunity not many people are going to experience in their lives,” Armani said.
“We’re very grateful.
“We’re going to take hold of this opportunity.”