Landau wrote that he saw the future of rock and roll, in what turned out to be a brilliant assessment of a musical newcomer.
As a sports journalist, I have often had this story in my head watching young people take their first steps on a big stage, then seizing that moment as if they had been tailor-made from birth.
As we leave Dubbo Golf Club tonight, hundreds of languages will speak of the epic shootout seen over the past two days.
Many will have rightly enjoyed Daniel Gale’s first big home win; others will marvel to see Justin Warren tear up the middle of the course and be able to shoot a closing 63 to get so close to victory that he will surely have his name on it soon; and more will have seen Josh Armstrong hit the ball comfortably beyond mere mortals’ wildest dreams.
LAW: Gale won the title, but everyone left in awe of Dubbo’s Grace Kim. PHOTOS: David Tease / Golf NSW.
But for sure, they’ll be talking about Grace Kim.
That doesn’t take anything away from Gale and his exceptional performance, especially after having to train in Queensland all winter to keep control while Covid ravages its Sydney base.
It’s just to say that if 500 or more people watched Kim play, each of them will have been truly impressed – maybe even amazed – that she was able to defend against the PGA Men of Australia.
Yes, she played on the red tees. But she consistently towered over the men with her iron approaches, even when she spotted them from tens of yards away.
Kim was one of the most decorated and traveled amateur golfers Australia has ever produced, but this was her FIRST tournament as a professional in her home country.
And it doesn’t hurt her magnetism factor that she’s one of the most charming young women you can meet and that she’s only too happy to talk to the galleries – especially the kids who’ve been drawn to. by its indisputable aura.
“I will absolutely say that Kim has enormous potential to be able to influence the way young women perceive sport.” -Marc Hayes.
So was it Bruce Springsteen?
The simple answer is no, mainly because I had the rare privilege of watching her rise through the ranks, thus limiting the immediate ‘wow factor’.
But that’s cutting hair in four.
I will absolutely say that Kim – and fellow scholarship winners Karrie Webb Hannah Green, Su Oh, and Minjee Lee just before her – have enormous potential to be able to influence the way young women view sports.
In fact, the way all Australian sports fans view golf.
It was fun, her interaction with playing partners Lonard, Millar, Gale and Dann for two days absolutely showing that she belongs.
Golf New South Wales (my employer this week, everything is on the table) should be absolutely commended for hosting the Golf Challenge NSW Open qualifiers in the regions; and again for having had the wisdom to know that Kim would not be overwhelmed.
On the contrary, she swam around several of her male rivals and showed that the format has an immediate place in the Australian golf calendar, just as the Vic Open and TPS events have already shown.
It is not a gadget. These women are brilliant and I look forward to the day when their looks will barely be mentioned as the norm.
Stay tuned, Australian golf fans. And most importantly, put all of your voice and all of your weight behind this crop of female talent that we are fortunate to have right now.
Will Grace Kim be the next Bruce Springsteen? Will the new cohort elevate the female side of our sport to an unprecedented level of notoriety in mainstream media and social consciousness?
The answers will not appear until time.
But in the meantime, I’m using the privilege of my soapbox to “dip the lid” on Kim – it was really exciting to watch.
And if the buzz around Dubbo golf fans tonight is any indication, maybe a legend was indeed born to run.
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