A sensational 2019 season has earned Whanganui golfing ace Tara Raj a crack at international duty, joining five other Kiwis to play at a prestigious international women's amateur tournament next month.
Carmen Lim, Fiona Xu, Vivian Lu, Darae Chung, Jessica Huang, and Raj will play in the Women's Amateur Asia-Pacific Championship on February 12-15 at the Waterside Course at the Siam Country Club in Thailand.
These six promising players have all received invites to play in the third year of the competition after fellow countryman Wenyung Keh came close to capturing the first instalment of the tournament two years ago, losing in a playoff.
The Women's Amateur Asia-Pacific champion receives invites to AIG Women's British Open, the Evian Championship, the Augusta National Women's Amateur Championship, and the Honda LPGA Thailand which will be played the following week.
Raj, a four time Whanganui women's open champion, has been in sensational form of late with her last big tournament perhaps sealing the deal for Thailand.
Just last month Raj led the Manawatu Wanganui team as No1 into second place in the New Zealand Women's Interprovincial (formerly the Toro) in Napier.
Raj was the undisputed player of the tournament going through unbeaten in individual play beating former New Zealand Amateur champion Vivian Lu twice in the space of two days. Lu, of course, will be one of Raj's team mates in Thailand.
The teenage golfing sensation took out the National Junior title at the 2019 Ray White Whanganui Sports Awards after proving she could compete with young adults by winning the Women's Harewood Open on the Charles Tour, while also winning six other major tournaments during the awards qualification period.
In July she added the Waikato Women's Winter Strokeplay title to her rapidly-growing list of golfing achievements. The 16-year-old won the Waikato feature hot on the heels of winning the Ruth Middleton Open in Matamata earlier that month off the back of a gutsy third in the New Zealand women's foursomes on the same course the week before.