Next generation golfers benefitting from Green2Gold2Great investment

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By Josh Squire

Two young golfers, part of Golf Australia’s (GA) Rookie Squad, are showing great promise on their respective challenger tours, supported by CGA’s Great2Gold2Great funding.

Heading towards the halfway point of 2024, and with the Paris Olympics looming large on the horizon, the future of sport continues to show flashes of Aussie talent.

Supported by a $13 million injection by Commonwealth Games Australia in the lead up to the 2026 Commonwealth Games, Australia’s young golfers are certainly reaping the rewards.

After producing her best result on the Epson Tour with a third-place finish in March at Florida’s Natural Charity Classic, Queenslander Cassie Porter secured a breakthrough victory on the LPGA Tour’s official qualifying circuit earlier this month.

The 21-year-old was six shots off the lead after the first round, but carded rounds of 68 and 69 in the following two rounds to win the competition by one shot at six-under par.

Buoyed by her recent results, Porter says that the Green2Gold2Great funding is having “a huge impact in the best way possible”.

“The funding takes a lot of the pressures off everyday life. It allows me to go home and see physios, coaches and trainers if I need, it eliminates the constant concern of being able to afford week-to-week expenses,” she said.

“It allows me to follow my dream and do it to the best of my ability.”

For fellow GA Rookie Squad member Hayden Hopewell, the Green2Gold2Great funding means he can continue to work on his game with his coach overseas.

Like Porter, the Western Australian has also enjoyed some of his best results this year, notching three top-20 finishes to date. The best of these performances was a 16-under, third-place finish at the Nelson Mandela Bay Championship in February.

Sitting 37th in the current Challenge Tour rankings, a top-20 finish at the end of the season will secure Hopewell a spot on the DP World Tour. But his aspirations go beyond making it onto Europe’s main tour.

“My ambitions are to make top 50 on the Official World Golf Rankings by the end of 2025 which will secure a PGA Touring Professional card on the US Professional Golf Circuit”.

“The funding will help to support my development as a Golf Australia Rookie touring professional, perfecting my craft on tours overseas and in Australia.”

Porter is searching for her own tour card on the LPGA Tour and is well placed to do so. Currently sitting third in the Epson Tour’s Race for the Card standings, she needs to remain within the top 15 golfers when the season comes to an end in October to achieve her goal of joining the premier women’s golf tour next year.

Green2Gold2Great funding giving them a head start in their young careers, Porter and Hopewell are hopeful that they will be able to represent their country in the future. Both athletes talked to the honour of being able to compete under the Australian flag, and the responsibility this carries.

“Being able to showcase what Australia means to me and how proud I am to be Australian is a dream I want to live one day at the Olympics,” Porter said.

“In short, [representing Australia] means the world to me and it is something that is definitely in the forefront of my focus.”

Although golf is yet to debut at the Commonwealth Games, it has gained plenty of traction in recent years. Initially part of the 2026 Games programme and a current Member Sport of Commonwealth Games Australia, supporting the developing talent of Australian golf through the Green2Gold2Great program ensures a prosperous future in the sport.

Commonwealth Games Australia is proud to support emerging Australian talent through Green2Gold2Great, a $13 million investment in athletes and sport.

In 2024, 37 bespoke projects will be delivered, developing more than 1000 people into the next generation of medal contenders.

Green2Gold2Great – propelling Australia’s success at the Commonwealth Games.

 

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