One to watch: New South Island U19 girls' champion Sumin Kang


Despite having just left the under-16 ranks, Queenstown golfer Sumin Kang blitzed the South Island U19 girls’ field in Christchurch last week.

The 16-year-old Wakatipu High student coasted to an eight-shot win at the Russley course, with Nelson’s Lizzie Neale, last year’s U19 winner, finishing runner-up.

‘‘The U19s is a pretty good ticket to win, she was very happy, and [it’s] probably just desserts for all the hard work she’s put in,’’ Wakatipu Junior Golf Club coordinator Simon Boland says.

‘‘She’s certainly showing she’s got what it takes at that [new age] level, which is really pleasing.

‘‘It’s not a huge group of young girls playing in those age-groups, but the talent level’s very high.

‘‘Most of the girls she’s competing against at that level are part of the New Zealand development squad and things like that.’’

Sumin, who’s play ed interprovincials for Otago since she was 12, won the South Island U16 title in Dunedin last year.

Boland says she’d have also been in contention for the NZ U16s title but it was cancelled due to Covid.

‘‘Now she’ll be looking for success at the NZ U19s in September.’’

Once she finishes school, Sumin’s hoping to play college golf in the United States before turning pro.