What started as a casual hit with friends has inspired a return to the course for Port Kembla golfer Cherie Alison.
The former European Tour professional has wound up back on the ALPG circuit and will tee off in the NSW Open at Oatlands Golf Club today.
After retiring from the sport in 2008, Alison had taken up a position as the golf operations manager at Port Kembla Golf Club in recent times, but will put aside her career off the course this weekend.
And the one-time LPGA cardholder is as motivated as ever to perform in the 54-hole event.
‘‘I’d like a top-20 but it would certainly be nice to get a win,’’ Alison said.
‘‘It is going to be a top quality field and that is going to be a tough thing, you are going to have to go low for the week.
‘‘One of the girls shot seven-under at Castle Hill the other day, so you are competing with that when you haven’t played as much as you’d like.
‘‘I know I could probably shoot that, but it’s a matter of whether I could shoot that three days in a row.’’
If Alison’s practice form is any guide, shooting low rounds might not be as difficult as she’d suspect.
‘‘I entered in the Celebrity Classic in December just for a bit of fun and to catch up with some friends and I started playing some holes in the afternoons,’’ she said.
‘‘One day I was five-under through seven holes and I was like, ‘wow, I should play a bit more often’. I have been able to get everything settled with work, so that has made it so I can have a bit of a practice.’’
With more practice planned in the future, Alison was still undecided where the comeback trail could lead.
‘‘This is going to be my last event for the summer ... although I may play the Victorian Open,’’ she said.
‘‘I haven’t committed yet to entry. But I have been playing quite solid considering I haven’t had that much practice.’’