Local golfer Liv Cheng is moving closer to her goal of being the No.1 female player in the world after being awarded the KFC Golf Scholarship for the third consecutive year.
After winning the 2016 scholarship, 23-year-old Cheng was able to compete in all 15 events in her second year of the Symetra tour and finished a credible 64th on the Official Money List, up from 108th the previous year.
The $10,000 KFC scholarship will help fund Cheng’s attendance of the full season of the Symetra Tour this year, with the goal of finishing in the top 10 of the Official Money List to gain automatic entry to the LPGA tour ranks.
The KFC Golf Scholarship is supported by proceeds from New Zealand Professional Women Golfers (NZPWG) annual Anita Boon Pro-Am tournament, sponsored by KFC and Coca Cola Amatil Ltd, which has been held every year since 2009. The scholarship aims to assist promising Kiwi women develop themselves as professional golfers.
In May 2016, Cheng qualified for the US Women’s Open, her first Major championship. Cheng described the tournament as the highlight of her year.
“I have had a taste of what it feels like to play amongst the best in the world at the biggest major championship of the year. The experience at the US Women’s Open has further fueled my drive to attain status to compete on the LPGA tour full time”, she said.
Last year it was a major goal of Cheng’s to qualify to compete in the Olympics with fellow Kiwi, Lydia Ko, however she missed the cut at the US Women’s Open, with her ranking falling just outside the Olympic qualifying spot.
Cheng has recently completed the 2016/17 ALPG Tour season, finishing 15th on the Order of Merit. Highlights of the season included tying for second place at her sophomore Anita Boon Pro-Am, and tying for seventh place at the Brisbane International.
Cheng feels that her third year of professional golf has been formative.
“It has taught me many lessons about my game – especially the influence of my emotions and mentality,” she says.
“I cherish and take each experience as a chance to learn and improve on all areas of my game. The more I compete and the more experience I acquire on my road to the LPGA will only benefit in attaining my long-term goals. The KFC Golf Scholarship has helped me greatly and I look forward to improving even more in the new 2017 season.”