She’s no stranger to success or big moments, but Queensland’s Cassie Porter was feeling the nerves on the first tee of the Geoff King Motors Australian Ladies Classic yesterday.
The 17-year-old admitted to shaking a little as she prepared to tee off in the company of two of the biggest names in the field, World Number 34 Ayeon Cho and Mexican sensation Maria Fassi.
“When I found out who I was playing with I was pretty surprised, and then on the first tee it really hit me,” the reigning Victorian Junior Open champion said.
“I always stack myself up against the pros even though I know I probably shouldn’t. But I like to play under pressure and playing with good players is like playing under pressure all day.
“It puts in that element of excitement to see if you can deal with it.”
Porter passed her own examination with flying colours at Bonville, a 2-under 70 seeing her into a share of 17th at day’s end.
That was three better than Fassi and just three behind Cho whose 67 saw her to a share of second heading to day two.
“It was such a big learning experience for me out there because they both play so differently,” said Porter after the round.
“Maria hits it so far it’s just amazing. She drove past me with an iron off the first tee which was a bit of a shock.
“But to see how they both go about playing and how completely different they are….it made me realise that there are so many different ways to play good golf and just to play my own game, not try to be like someone else.”
Porter said she was pleased with her performance and excited for the rest of the week.
“I learnt I can play quite well under pressure which is important,” she said of what she took from playing with the pair.
“On the first tee, I was thinking maybe even par would be a good day for me so to shoot under par I was really happy with that.
“There’s a long way to go and lots of golf to be played before the end, but it’s a really good start, and I’m excited for the rest of the week now.”
Porter hits off for round two at 8 am from the ninth tee.