Talented rookie Liv Cheng says she is “incredibly honoured” to have won the inaugural 2015 KFC Golf Scholarship, a $10 000 scholarship designed to help promising Kiwi women hone their game and fulfill their golfing potential.
21-year-old Cheng of Howick, Auckland is currently playing the ALPG (Australian Professional Women Golfers) tour, where she enjoyed her first win in January – the McLeod ALPG Pro-Am alongside Australian player Sarah Kemp.
Liz McKinnon, spokesperson for establishing body NZPWG (NZ Professional Women Golfers), says Cheng is an “exciting young player” who impressed with an ALPG win after only just turning professional.
“A convincing four under par winning score gave us a glimpse of Liv’s potential”, says McKinnon. “We’re proud to have her as our KFC Golf Scholarship winner for 2015.”
Cheng has a busy schedule - she will be playing alongside world champion Lydia Ko and fellow Kiwi Cathryn Bristow at the ISPS Handa Australian Women’s Open this week at Royal Melbourne before returning home to compete in the ISPS Handa New Zealand Women’s Open in Christchurch.
The Bachelor of Arts (Hons) graduate completed her studies in Los Angeles, USA while playing NCAA Division 1 Women’s College Golf. She then went on to LPGA Qualifying School and made it to stage three.
While Cheng did not gain her LPGA tour card, she achieved full playing status on the secondary Symetra tour. She hopes to finish in the top ten this year to join Ko on the LPGA tour in 2016.
Cheng says, “This is very exciting news and I am incredibly honoured. I am truly grateful for all the time and effort KFC and NZPWG have invested. This scholarship will help me tremendously, and I am excited for the next steps in my career that this invaluable scholarship will help me to achieve.”
CEO of Restaurant Brands, Russel Creedy, says KFC is a strong advocate for the development of young golfing talent in New Zealand as a large number of the fast food operator’s 4000 employees are youth.
“We are very supportive of women’s golf, and with Lydia Ko doing so well on the highly competitive international stage it is great for New Zealand youth”, says Creedy.
“Her amazing success has inspired a new generation of young talent and this financial support will provide Liv with the opportunities she needs to excel. With our sponsorship we will help in the search for another Lydia Ko and many more in the years to come.”
The KFC Golf Scholarship is sponsored by KFC and supported by proceeds from NZPWG’s annual Anita Boon Pro-Am tournament sponsored by KFC and Coca Cola Amatil Ltd held in November last year.
KFC Golf Scholarship winner Liv Cheng (pictured) with compatriot and World No.1 Lydia Ko at this week's ISPS Handa Australian Women's Open