SOUTH-west golf export Stacey Keating is eyeing the lucrative United States LPGA tour next year as she cements herself as one of Australia’s leading players.
The 26-year-old, who grew up at Cressy and discovered the game at Lismore Golf Club, is revelling in her rising standing in professional ranks after turning pro in 2010. Speaking after she finished sixth in the weekend’s Australian Ladies Masters at Royal Pines on the Gold Coast, Keating she was enjoying her rise through the ranks.
She entered the masters as one of the drawcard players after winning two tournaments in a breakout year on the European tour in 2012. “It’s different but it’s a good thing,” Keating told The Standard yesterday.
“Being paired with Karrie (Webb) for the first two rounds was great.” Keating then played in the final group on Sunday.
“I was happy with the week. It would have been nice to have a win but I had a good week.” Keating flies to Christchurch today for this week’s New Zealand Open before returning to Canberra for the Australian Open the following week.
She will then return “home” for the Victorian Open at Thirteenth Beach on the Bellarine Peninsula. The Euorpean tour then hits off in March and Keating has mapped out a big campaign.
“I will play as many (events) as I can, probably 25 to 30 for the year,” she said. “I love it.”
Keating said the years of work she had put in was paying off.
“It hasn’t just happened. It’s all happened over time. It’s very rewarding. I love playing golf and travelling,” she said.
Her two wins late last season mean she has a playing exemption on the European tour until the end of 2015.
She said she was considering spreading her wings to the US LPGA Tour in 2014.
But to do that, she would need to earn playing rights by going to qualifying school later this year.