Talented rookie and winner of McLeod GC ALPG pro-am Liv Cheng says she is “incredibly honoured” to have won the inaugural 2015 KFC Golf Scholarship, a $10 000 scholarship designed to help promising New Zealand’s women professional golfers hone their game and fulfil their golfing potential.
Liz McKinnon, spokesperson for establishing body NZPWG (NZ Professional Women Golfers), says Cheng is an “exciting young player” who impressed with an ALPG win after only just turning professional.
“A convincing four under par winning score at McLeod gave us a glimpse of Liv’s potential”, says McKinnon. “We’re very proud to have her as our KFC Golf Scholarship winner for 2015.”
The 21-year-old Bachelor of Arts (Hons) graduate who hails from Auckland, completed her studies in the USA while playing NCAA Division 1 Women’s College Golf.
She then went on to LPGA Qualifying School and made it through stages 1 and 2 but unfortunately fell at the final hurdle in stage three.
While Cheng was disappointed not to gain her LPGA tour card, she achieved full playing status on the LPGA secondary developmental tour the Symetra Tour. She hopes to finish in the top ten this year to join world number one and good friend Lydia Ko on the LPGA tour in 2016.
Cheng says, “This is very exciting news and I am incredibly honoured. I am truly grateful for all the time and effort KFC and NZPWG have invested. This scholarship will help me tremendously, and will give me the opportunity to travel to the US and play fulltime this year. The entry fees on the Symetra Tour are $500 each week so the scholarship will cover these costs in 2015 which is a huge help.”
CEO of Restaurant Brands, Russel Creedy, says KFC is a strong advocate for the development of young golfing talent in New Zealand as a large number of the fast food operator’s 4000 employees are youth.
“We are very supportive of women’s golf, and with Lydia Ko doing so well on the highly competitive international stage it is great for New Zealand youth”, says Creedy.
“Her amazing success has inspired a new generation of young talent and this financial support will provide Liv with the opportunities she needs to excel. With our sponsorship we will help in the search for another Lydia Ko and many more in the years to come.”
The KFC Golf Scholarship is sponsored by KFC and supported by proceeds from NZPWG’s annual Anita Boon Pro-Am tournament sponsored by KFC and Coca Cola Amatil Ltd held in November last year.