Our Sporting Life SA

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The Hole In One Princess

Two-time US Women's Amateur Champion Danielle Kang will be one of the players to watch at next week's Australian Open in Adelaide.

The 23-year-old American is already a five-year veteran on the LPGA tour and is excited to be visiting Adelaide for the first time.

"This will be my first time in Adelaide so I can't wait to go exploring," Kang said.

"I heard there's a zoo nearby where we're staying so maybe I'll go visit."

Kang last played the Australian Open back in 2012 and is enthusiastic to be playing the biggest event down under.

"I am very much looking forward to playing the Australian Open," Kang said.

"I haven't been there (Australia) in a few years so I'm very excited."

Back in 2010 and 2011 Kang won consecutive US Women's Amateur Championship titles becoming the first player in 15 years to do so - a career highlight for her.

"To me winning (the two amateur championships) is one of the highlights of my life," Kang said.

"Winning the US Women's Amateur back-to-back with my dad on the bag is something I will treasure for the rest of my life.

Kang also regards NHL Hall of Famer and arguably the greatest ice hockey player of all time Wayne Gretzky and his wife, Janet as close family friends.

"I grew up with the Gretzky's so I always just thought of them as family," Kang said.

"Wayne and Janet brought me to Sherwood Country Club and helped me get privileges there since I was an amateur, and to this day I'm very appreciative of that."

Kang first qualified for the US Women's Open as a 14-year-old in 2007 and was a standout junior.

Among her accomplishments was a tie for ninth at the 2009 Junior World Championship.

During her years on the LPGA tour Kang's tie for 14th at the 2012 US Open is her best finish at a major and has scored a 64 at the 2012 Kingsmill Championship, her lowest score.

But 2014 proved a significant year for Kang as she had two top 10's and tied for the most aces ever in a LPGA season with three.

She netted two cars in eight days with back-to-back tournament hole in ones, with aces in the LPGA Taiwan Championship and also the Blue Bay LPGA Tournament in China.

"That was amazing, I still can't believe I won two cars in two weeks," Kang said.

"I think it was a birthday gift from my dad…

"Since I was young I had quite a few hole in ones and dad always used to say ‘you should do it on a car hole so you can win a car one day’.”

Kang's older brother Alex is also a talented golfer and is currently on the PGA Tour in China.

As a junior Alex was once receiving plenty of praises from onlookers when hitting balls that sister Danielle thought she could do the same and here they are both playing on the tour!

Both Kang's parents (K.S. and Grace) play golf too and their support for her is a blessing.

"I'm blessed with such talented parents," Kang explained.

“They're good at everything.

"My family has the biggest influence on my career because they're my biggest supporters, without them I wouldn't be where I am.

"They believe in me no matter what, and I think that's one of the most important blessings in your life.

“To have people that believe in you."

Playing many courses throughout the world Kang still has one course she would love to play one day.

"I haven't played all the golf courses I would like to play yet," she said.

"I would love to play Augusta one day."

Kang is also trained in Tae Kwon Do and was a second degree black belt at the age of seven.

"I trained Tae-Kwon-Do since I was two and my dream was to go to the Olympics for Tae Kwon Do when I was young.

Kang also wanted to be an actress when growing up.

She can play piano, saxophone and when she has time, loves to read.

"If anyone has any good book recommendations, I'm all ears!,” Kang concluded.

Photo credit: Danielle Kang