ELLA Scaysbrook thought it was "pretty cool" when a group of kids rushed up and asked her for an autograph at the Australian Open.
Scaysbrook, the 17-year-old pocket-rocket from Newcastle, had just signed off on three-under 70 in the opening round at The Lakes.
"They probably didn't know who I was, but it was pretty cool," Scaysbrook said. "It was great having all the kids run up to me. It gives me more motivation to work hard."
Scaysbrook is still a junior herself. And while the NSW representative hopes to make a career out of golf, she is in no rush.
"I don't turn 18 until February," she said. "I still have a few years to work on my game and get it to where I need it.
"The Aussie Open reassured me that I am good enough to do this. It confirmed that this is what I want to do.
"The biggest thing was the mental side of it. It was draining. I watched how the professional dealt with things.
"I would definitely jump at the chance if I got an opportunity to play in more professional events.
"My game just needs a bit of fine tuning. A had a couple of rough days with the driver. It was more my set up which needed to be fixed. Once we corrected that, it was OK. I putted quite well and felt like I could rely on that."
After carding rounds of 70,76,72,77 to finish six over and tied for 21st at the Australian Open, Scaysbrook made the trek to Coffs Harbour for the Jack Newton Junior Golf Champions Trophy.
Scaybrook was the defending girls champion, but she ran out of steam and finished the 72-hole event in fourth spot behind runaway winner Amelia Harris. Amy Squires (Nelson Bay) was fifth.
It was her final junior event in a season highlighted by winning the NSW Junior Championship and helping steer NSW to victory in the interstate series.
"I played 11 rounds in 10 days including the Champions Trophy," Scaysbrook said. "I put the clubs away for a couple of days but will start up again tomorrow. I'm playing in The Jack [Newton Celebrity Classic] next week. That will be a fun week.
"The next main event is the Master of the Amateurs in early January."
The Master of the Amateurs is held at the Southern Golf Club in Victoria from January 9-12 and features a class international field.
The 72-hole championship is the start of a big January which includes the Australian Amateur. Avondale Amateur and NSW Amateur, which is being held at Belmont Golf Club.
"They are all world ranking events," she said. "Hopefully I can perform well and get my ranking down.
"I'd love to go overseas next year. A few of the NSW representative players went over to the US last year and played some tournaments. That looked pretty cool. That is something I would like to do, if not next year, then the year after."
** Charlestown's Harry Atkinson (72,71,74,73) was the best placed of the Hunter contingent in the boys division at the JNJG Champions Trophy in sixth at two over.
** Charlestown-based professional Andrew Dodt will be out to finish the year on a high at the Saudi Open, starting Thursday.
Dodt missed the cut by a stroke in the first round of the LIV promotions qualifier in Abu Dhabi.
He birdied the last for a one-under 71, but was 21st.