SHE'S loved golf from the moment she first teed off as a 12-year-old, so it is no surprise Bathurst's Casey Thompson has her sights set on joining the professional golf circuit.
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Asked what her major goal is as she settled into her new role as a first year trainee at Cowra Golf Club under the tutelage of club professional Tom Perfect, the now 19-year-old was clear.
"I want to organise a girls scholarship program in the Central West to get young girls to play golf," she said.
"And to become a professional golfer, that would be pretty amazing, just to play a tournament would really be up there."
Thompson has reduced her handicap to six which should see her more than competitive when she makes her traineeship debut among the more than 70 first year trainees competing at the Campbelltown Pro-Am from Monday.
While Cowra professional Perfect is certain to have a major influence on Thompson's career, she says her brother Dylan has provided her with plenty of inspiration in her early years.
"He went to college in America and is now a trainee professional in Bathurst under Matt Barrett," she said.
"He's a really good golfer, I really got into golf after playing with him regularly."
An all-rounder, Thompson says she played all sports at school before deciding golf is the game for her.
"I played a bit of everything, soccer, football, a bit of netball, I was big into tennis but just loved golf the most, it's a bit more challenging and you don't rely on a team," she said.
Already an Australian representative, the path to a three-year traineeship hasn't been easy for Thompson who was forced to take several years away from golf after a major injury.
"I started when I was 12 and competed in a few tournaments before taking a break and getting back into golf but then had a major back injury about three years ago and broke my L5 [vertebrae]," she said.
"I got back into golf after that and now I'm a trainee."
Thompson made her international debut in the United States in 2018 courtesy of victory in her age group at the Australian Junior Age Division Golf Championship that year.
Consistent rounds at Yeppoon's Capricorn Resort Golf took her to the top of the leaderboard in the 15s age group and second in the combined 15s and 16s age group earning her the right to take part in the World Stars of Junior Golf tour which consisted of matches in both Nevada and California.
"I was second in the second tournament and around 10th in the first," Thompson said of her US experience.
"The first [tournament] wasn't the best, I was a bit nervous, but in the second I went pretty well."
After Campbelltown the competition steps up a notch with Thompson taking on second and third year trainees as well as those who are at her stage of their traineeship.
"They've put out a schedule of our tournaments and there are another two in February I'm also going to play," Thompson said.
"All are in NSW with COVID at the moment, that's what the schedule is going to look like until COVID settles down."
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