Texas State’s Assad ready to shine in Australia

Randpark golfer Lora Assad is relishing her debut for South Africa in the prestigious Astor Trophy at The Grange in Adelaide from 12-16 January 2015.

The Texas State University student will join Bertine Strauss from the North West Province, Michaela Fletcher from KwaZulu-Natal and fellow Gauteng golfers Ivanna Samu and Eleonora Galletti in the round robin tournament that is only held every four years and contested between South African, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and defending champions, Great Britain and Ireland.

Assad was studying Sport Communication at the University of Johannesburg when she caught the attention of college scouts during a world junior golf event in Florida just over two years ago.

A phone call from the coach at Texas State resulted in a golf scholarship and a hasty departure to the United States.

She quickly made her mark for the Texas State Bobcats and enjoyed her best season in 2014.

The 22-year-old amateur reeled in three top 10 finishes, including a tie for ninth at the Sun Belt Tournament. She was selected to the All-Sun Belt Second Team in April and helped the Bobcats to qualify for the NCAA Regionals for a third straight year.

Assad also enjoyed a fortuitous six week spell during her summer break in July and August last year.

She racked up victories in the Gauteng North Match Play and Ekurhuleni 54-Hole Stroke Play Championship and reached the final round of the prestigious Sanlam SA Women’s Amateur Championship.

WGSA national coach Val Holland believes Assad’s experience on the US college circuit will add to the depth and strength to the South African team.

“Lora gelled really well with the rest of the players,” said Holland, who conducted a training camp with the squad at Ruimsig Country Club in December.

“She has matured a lot as a player and her course management is outstanding. Her match play performances within the South African amateur events is admirable, especially the incredible match against Ivanna in the final of the Sanlam SA Women’s Amateur.

“As one of five players returning for the Bobcats in 2015, Lora will have taken the rust of the festive season off and will be battle ready by the time we arrive in Australia, which is a real plus for the team.”

Assad will return to continue her third year in Physical Therapy after the Astor Trophy and the Australian Amateur.

“It was great to get together with all the girls and work out our pairings,” said Assad. “We are all really excited to see how we will do against the other nations, especially Great Britain and Ireland. It’s such an honour to represent South Africa and I just want to do my best for the team.”

Written and released by Lali Stander for Womens Golf South Africa.

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