Silvia Brunotti has won the New Zealand Women’s Amateur Championship at 14 years of age, beating the defending champion Rose Zheng in dominant fashion, 7&6, at Russley Golf Club today.
The victory launches Brunotti onto the golfing scene at the same age as former world No.1 and superstar Lydia Ko.
Brunotti showed similarities to New Zealand’s best female golfer of all time with her extremely calm and bubbly manner as she slowly dissected Zheng.
“I’m over the moon, I know it doesn’t look like it, but I am,” said Brunotti afterwards.
As to her aspirations, the 14-year-old was direct: “I want to be like Lydia.”
After being 1-down early in the fixture, Brunotti reclaimed the lead on the fourth hole and never surrendered it again. She enjoyed a 3-up lead at lunch and as the day progressed the galleries realised that something special was happening.
The Westlake Girls High School pupil will remember her top-16 victory (in round two) when she won the final four holes against Fuukha Higashi to progress. From there, she was unstoppable.
“I don’t know how to explain the feeling, it’s so unreal and I didn’t think I would get this far,” Brunotti said.
There is no time for celebration as she continues her study regime with a science exam tomorrow.
There have been many storylines throughout this week’s New Zealand Amateur Championship, but one feels this victory will be the most memorable of all.