Queenslander Katherine Kirk is one of nine players who will represent ALPG at next week's Queens Cup in Japan. The two-time LPGA winner is looking forward to representing her country and her tour.
Q: What does it mean to play for your country and your home tour?
A: Team events, like the Queens Cup, are so rare and obviously not everyone gets to play them so it's a real honour to play for Australia and represent the ALPG Tour. There's a sense of a deeper purpose when you make a national team and I love the intensity that goes along with that.
Q: Most of the ALPG team know each other very well, who will be the joker of the team this year?
A: Sarah Kemp loves to joke around and was quite entertaining last year so I'm guessing she'll be the one to get us laughing in the team room and on the way to the course.
Q: Rachel Hetherington is a legend of Australian Golf, having beaten Annika Sorenstam in 3 playoffs on the LPGA Tour. What can she bring to the team who will be underdogs in 2016?
A: Rachel is a really gritty player and she's proof that anyone can be beaten. Seeing her competitive spirit and determination up close in 2015 was inspiring and I know that her keenness to win this year will all motivate us to dig that little bit deeper even though we're the underdogs.
Q: Matchplay is obviously a different format to what you play week in week out, how do you approach matchplay compared to stroke play?
A: In all my years of playing and watching matchplay, I think the biggest key is to get up early and just keep pushing to increase the lead. Obviously, you can't control how your opponent plays and you want to stick to your strategy for playing the course but there's also a chance to play more aggressively or conservatively on some holes depending on what your opponent is doing. There's almost a game within the game and you have to be ready to react.
Q: What are you looking forward to the most at The Queens Cup?
A: There are actually 4 things I'm really excited about: the head-to-head battles, the opening ceremony, putting on the Aussie uniform everyday, and the camaraderie we'll have as team. There's something about team events that get you that little bit more fired up to compete.
Q: What do you think you learned the most from your experiences in The Queens Cup in 2015 that will stand you in good stead this year?
A: The players on the other teams are super nice but they're also super competitive so we have to come out firing early. The LET and ALPG teams really struggled last year so there might also be a little vengeance spurring us on.
About The Queens presented by Kowa
The Queens Cup presented by Kowa is a unique match play tournament featuring four teams of nine players, including a playing captain, from the Ladies European Tour, Ladies Professional Golfers’ Association of Japan, Ladies Korean LPGA and Australian Professional Golf Inc.
The tournament will take place at Miyoshi Country Club near Nagoya, in Aichi Prefecture, Japan.
A total of 32 matches will be played over three days: eight fourball matches on day one, eight foursomes matches on day two and 16 singles matches on day three.
Scoring is done via a points system, with each match being worth 3 points to the winning team. If a match ends all square after 18 holes, 1 point is awarded to each team.
On completion of the first 2 days, the leading two teams will contest the "Championship Final" on Sunday 4th December, while the other 2 teams will contest the "Third Place Final"
Winning Team : 45,000,000 yen ( 5,000,000 yen per person x 9 Players)
Runner-up: 27,000,000 yen (3,000,000 yen per person x 9 Players)
3rd Place: 18,000,000 yen (2,000,000 yen per person x 9 Players)
4th Place: 9,000,000 yen (1,000,000 yen per person x 9 Players)
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