Female golfer first Vietnamese to compete in prestigious amateur US tournament

By Hoang Nguyen   July 14, 2021 | 05:27 pm GMT+7
Female golfer first Vietnamese to compete in prestigious amateur US tournament
Hanako Kawasaki at the qualifiers of the U.S. Women's Amateur on June 11, 2021. Photo courtesy of Mass Golf.
Hanako Kawasaki, a Vietnamese of Japanese descent, has become the first golfer from Vietnam to play in the renowned U.S. Women’s Amateur.

On the last day of qualifiers at Boston Golf Club on Monday, Kawasaki finished first with four birdies and four bogeys, despite not having practiced on this 6,001-yard golf course before.

"I was just bombing all my drives down the middle and it all worked out. The fairways aren't too tight, but if you hit it too far water comes into play. I didn't really know there was water, so I just confidently hit it down the middle, which would give a wedge in, or a short club, which is obviously easier to pin. I had a really nice ball-striking day," Kawasaki told golf site Mass Golf.

Kawasaki is studying business at Boston University (BU) and playing for the BU golf team under the lead of coach Bruce Chalas. In 2019, she was awarded Patriot League Golfer of the Year after finishing fourth at the conference tournament. She also earned First Team All-Patriot League honors two times in 2019 and 2021.

"It's all thanks to coach Bruce. He just found me from Vietnam. BU is an amazing school academically and athletically, so it was a perfect fit for me. He was so kind to recruit me and since I've come to BU my golf has improved tremendously," Kawasaki said.

The 22-year-old also holds three National Women’s Golf Championship in Vietnam, which make her the country’s number one female golfer.

U.S. Women’s Amateur is the leading golf tournament for female amateur golfers. Players from all nations are allowed to compete without age restrictions. Established in 1895, it’s considered the highest honor in women’s amateur golf, along with British Ladies Amateur.

"It wasn't really my goal to win. My goal was to shoot a respectable number, but I didn't think I had it in me to pull it off. I'm really, really happy," Kawasaki said.

 
 
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