• Six things to know about every player at The Athena

Before Netflix took golf fans behind the scenes of the PGA TOUR with their series, ‘Full Swing’, The Athena showcased women’s golf in a way never seen before.

Going beyond a golf tournament – golf done differently – The Athena has become not only where the skills of Australia’s elite players are showcased, but also their personalities.

Through what they wear, how they interact with fellow players, their answers to in-game interviews and how they play the game, all 12 players are provided the platform to show who they really are.

The fourth edition of The Athena will be played this weekend at the Peninsula Kingswood Country Golf Club with players to be set nine skills-based challenges over the course of two days, broadcast live on Fox Sports and Kayo from 3pm-7pm Saturday and Sunday AEDT.

But before they do, here is a cheat-sheet on what to expect from all 12 players taking part.

Danni Vasquez

  • A graduate of the PGA of Australia’s Membership Pathway Program
  • Fancies herself as a cake maker/decorator
  • Cites Serena Williams as her favourite role model
  • Plays with one big tee and two little tees in her hair
  • Was runner-up at the 2023 Australian Women’s Classic at Bonville
  • Dream fourball would be Luke Combs, Morgan Wallen and Tiger Woods

Jess Whitting

  • Won a $90,000 BMW for a hole-in-one at Webex Players Series Murray River
  • Played college golf at Rogers State University and the University of South Florida
  • Studied Bachelors of Science Economics - Masters of Entrepreneurship in Applied Technologies at University of South Florida)
  • ‘Blades of Glory’ is her all-time favourite movie
  • If not a professional golfer, would be an actress
  • Is tipping Cassie Porter as the player to beat “’cause she’s a unit”

Claire Shin

  • Broke par for the first time at the age of 12
  • Part of the John Serhan coaching stable that also includes Kelsey Bennett and Sarah Kemp
  • Biggest win as an amateur was the 2023 Avondale Amateur
  • Favourite golfer is Jin Young Ko
  • Passionate about drawing and art
  • Dream fourball would be her mum, Billie Eilish, Viktor Hovland and Jin Young Ko

Sarah Yamaki Branch

  • Grew up playing at Sanctuary Cove on the Gold Coast
  • Has two wins on a mini tour in Japan
  • Favourite foods are sushi, pho, barbecue ribs, crab/lobster, dumplings
  • Once forgot her putter during a playoff
  • If not a golfer would be a paramedic, zoo keeper or food blogger
  • Cites Karis Davidson as her favourite player to play with

Skye Lampton

  • Named the 2023 Darwin Sportsperson of the Year
  • Has family members who have played professional rugby and competed at the Commonwealth Games
  • Claims to be able to make a “Pinterest-like” charcuterie board
  • Won the Darwin Open in 2022 and 2023
  • Was inspired to take up golf by watching ‘Happy Gilmore’
  • Thinks long drive is the challenge she has the best chance of winning

Elmay Viking

  • Favourite sporting teams are the Matildas and the All Blacks
  • Favourite role model is Roger Federer
  • Binge-watches ‘Ted Lasso’, ‘Air Crash Investigation’, ‘NCIS’ and ‘Only Murders In The Building’
  • Has three hole-in-ones to date
  • Family background includes Polynesian, French Polynesian, Native American and Scandinavian
  • At 29 is the oldest player in the field

Cassie Porter

  • Played on the Epson Tour in the US in 2023 with a best finish of T4 at the Champions Fore Change Invitational
  • Four-time Olympic gold medal winner Dawn Fraser is a family friend and mentor
  • First broke par at the age of 11
  • Most embarrassing moment in golf is shanking a ball on the chipping green at Vic Open and hitting Hannah Green
  • Dream fourball is with Ryan Reynolds, Victor Hovland and Roger Federer
  • In 2019 won the Victorian Junior Open, Greg Norman Junior Masters and Jack Newton International Junior Classic

Amy Chu

  • Coached by Khan Pullen, who also coaches LPGA Tour star Grace Kim among others
  • Started playing at Liverpool Golf Club, now based at The Australian Golf Club
  • Captained the Washington State University college golf team in 2022
  • Says she can juggle
  • Favourite foods are pho, pizza, pasta, pork rolls (banh mi), pad kee mao
  • Only superstition is that she marks her golf balls the night before a tournament

Caitlin Peirce

  • Friends think that being an elite golfer is “kind of cool and a little bit lame”
  • Believes the 100-metre shot is the challenge she has the best chance of winning
  • Big soccer fan, particularly the Matildas and Arsenal
  • Says her secret talent is being able to put her hands flat on the ground when she touches her toes
  • Was a recipient of the Karrie Webb Scholarship in 2022
  • Made it through to the final 16 of both the British Women’s Amateur and US Women’s Amateur in 2023

Rhianna Lewis

  • Coached by Grant Field, who coaches Cameron Smith, Jed Morgan and Sarah Jane Smith, among others
  • Dad, Trevor, races speedway and boyfriend, Ben, races motorbikes
  • Has a tattoo dedicated to the movie, ‘A Beautiful Mind’
  • Favourite golfers are Inbee Park and Rickie Fowler
  • Inspired to take up golf by older sister Tiffany, who also represented Queensland
  • Fancies herself as a chance to win the flop shot challenge

Kelsey Bennett

  • Finished second at the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific Championship in 2021
  • Favourite subject at school was woodwork
  • Favourite movies are ‘Just Go With It’, ‘Grown Ups’ and Erin Brockovich
  • Loves surfing and camping
  • Favourite sporting teams are the South Sydney Rabbitohs, Sydney Swans and the Matildas
  • Dream fourball would be with Ash Barty, Chris Hemsworth and her nan

Steph Bunque

  • Played with Karrie Webb and Laura Davies in third round of 2023 Women’s Australian Open
  • Favourite movies are ‘Silence Of The Lambs’, ‘The Prestige’, ‘Shutter Island’, ‘Talk To Me’
  • Had two top-five finishes on the Ladies European Tour Access Series in 2023
  • Dream fourball would be John Daly, Suzann Pettersen, Karen Lunn
  • Favourite foods are sushi, Korean fried chicken, Mochi Donuts
  • Renowned as one of the longest hitters in the women’s game

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