The pair will split the $12,000 prize evenly, following in the footsteps of fellow Aucklander Liv Cheng, who claimed the KFC Golf Scholarship for three straight years from 2015-17.
This is the sixth year the Scholarship has been provided, and the fourth with KFC as the official sponsor. The KFC Golf Scholarship is aimed at furthering Kiwi women’s golfers’ careers.
Image Caption: Phillis Meti, one of the two winners of the 2018 KFC Golf Scholarship. Image credit Simon Watts.
“We are delighted to announce Munchin Keh and Phillis Meti as our joint winners of the 2018 KFC Golf Scholarship,” NZPWG chairperson Vicki Aitken said.
“Munchin and Phillis are both working hard in forging their own pathways on the international stage and we’re excited to have them as our winners this year and to support them to achieve their goals for 2018.”
The 25-year-old Keh, who hails from Pakuranga, is coming off a successful rookie season on the Chinese Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour in 2017, making the cut in all eight tournaments.
She has gained full status for the 2018 CLPGA Tour.
“Munchin had a solid first year on the Chinese LPGA last year, she is keen to build on that and gain her LPGA card in the U.S. later this year,” Aitken enthused.
“The Scholarship will help her to do this.”
After making a huge impact as a newcomer on the CLPGA Tour, a USLPGA Tour card would be a natural progression for Keh, whose achievements include representing New Zealand at three Queen Sirikit tournaments and playing a key role in four NZ Interprovincial title victories for the dominant Auckland team.
As an amateur she also won the Ruth Middleton Strokeplay in 2012 and 2016, the NZ Women's Amateur Championship in 2012 (she was runner-up in 2016) and the Australian Women's Amateur Rosedale Cup in 2015.
“I’m feeling very grateful being granted as one of the KFC Golf Scholarship recipients,” Keh said.
“It will facilitate my growth and development in the game and allow me to chase my dream of being on the LPGA tour.”
Auckland’s Meti, 30, is a superstar on the women’s World Long Drive circuit. A two-time winner of the World Long Drive Championship (2006 and 2016), Meti smashed a world record drive of 406 yards (371 metres) in the Denver-hosted event last year.
“Phillis is our world record Long Drive champ and we want to support her in continuing to make an impact on Long Drive golf, assisting her in promoting the game of golf as she does so,” Aitken said.
Meti represented North Harbour as an amateur before turning professional in 2009.
The Scholarship will help her to compete in Long Drive Tour events in the United States – including her attempt to win a third World Long Drive Championship title– and also further her public speaking skills.
“I’m really honoured to have been selected as a co-recipient of the KFC Golf Scholarship alongside Munchin,” Meti said.
“The NZPWG board are doing their utmost best to help encourage our Kiwi women to make the next step in their golfing endeavours an easier one, which is what our sport has needed for years.
“I’d like to thank both the NZPWG board and KFC for their continued support of women’s golf and would also like to thank my team for their patience and belief.”
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