There’s a name on the leaderboard Australian golf fans would do well to remember.
That said, if you haven’t quite seen Sarah Hammett just yet, don’t sweat it because it seems certain she’ll be around for a while.
The 15-year-old Gold Coaster, in her first internationally sanctioned professional event, completed a bogey-free second round of 70 today to vault not only to outright sixth, but also to be leading amateur and top local player in the Australian Women’s Classic at Bonville.
Hammett demonstrated in January a penchant for flair and shot-making in winning the NSW Amateur crown at Links Shell Cove against her peers.
Today, she showed a whole new side to her burgeoning skill set, defying nasty weather and the pressures of a top-flight European field to surpass even her own expectations with rounds of 71-70 to sit just four off the pace at three under.
“I’m really happy. My ambition at the start of the week was to make the cut, so to be going OK in such a talented field, it’s pretty cool,” the modest and shy Hammett said.
“Coming in here I knew the competition was going to be tough and I didn’t think that I’d be as high up as I am, but I’m just finding it great to be in such a good field.
“I feel really good about myself, knowing my game can compare to some of the really good players.”
It was only the second bogey-free round in Hammett’s short career, made even more impressive by the fact it was split by a 24-hour rain delay and that the final few holes of her Friday tilt (she completed 16 holes) were played in driving rain on a sodden course.
“In those conditions, I’m very proud of that. I’d say it’s one of my favourite rounds,” she said.
“In the middle (in the worst of the conditions), I made some good up and downs and saved some pars, which was important.”
Hammett, who sung the praises of her father Mark as caddie, said she was excited to be in the second last group tomorrow, when she’ll partner Argentina’s Magdalena Simmermacher and Sweden’s Maja Stark the highest-ranked player in the field at world No.87.
“I should have a good night’s sleep,” she said with a smile of hope more than expectation. Fellow Queensland amateur Justice Bosio is the next best Australian at two under, while Sarah Kemp and Steph Bunque are another shot back and still in the hunt.