Victoria first woman to play on Mena Tour.
Summary: US teen sensation of Thai heritage excited about new challenge starting on Tuesday
Hua Hin, Thailand: Rising teen-star Victoria Tip-Aucha will create history when she tees it up at the MahaSamutr Masters in Thailand next Tuesday [May 2], thus becoming the first woman play on the Mena Tour.
Born and brought up in the United States, the 15-year-old Victoria, of Thai heritage, has her game trending in the right direction following a string of firsts in the junior golf circuits, both in the US and Thailand that have set optimistic wheels spinning.
The MahaSamutr Masters, part of a three-event Thailand swing of the Mena Tour, gets under way from May 2 to 4.
"This is a new challenge for me and I love challenges because they offer me an opportunity to grow in some way and stretch my creative muscles. Really looking forward to it," Victoria said.
"I'm not playing to prove anything, but just loved the idea of playing in a men's event. It's as simple as that. I hope the experience of playing alongside Mena Tour players will stand me in good stead and that will be the biggest takeaway from the tournament," she added.
Victoria has already won five times on the Thailand girls' golf circuit this year, including wins at the International School Junior Golf Tournament and ASB Eagle Cup. Her other achievements on the other side of the Atlantic include victories at the 47th VSGA (Virginia State Golf Association) Championship and the Junior All-Star at Chantilly National, both in 2016.
"Obviously, my immediate goal is to post a strong finish, but I can't really control all of it. What I can control is how hard I try and what I can do. What I can do is to have fun out there and just play the best I can," she said.
There is no rule against women playing in men's tour events, but only a few, including Annika Sorenstam, Michelle Wie and Lexi Thompson have attempted the feat since Babe Didrikson Zaharaias, the first woman to play against men in a PGA Tour event in 1938.
"We are really delighted to have Victoria join our tournament. She is charismatic, she is skilful and her presence will keep the atmosphere buzzing," Veeranat Limprasutr, Head of Business Development and Director of Operations at MahaSamutr Country Club in Hua Hin, noted.
"Golf is a game you play against yourself, so it's going to be a Victoria versus Victoria show in her quest to improve and test her abilities. If you look at her achievements, it's so impressive. Our invitation is a step in the process of making her a better player," he added.
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