Ash Barty may have brought an abrupt end to her terrific tennis career – but that does not mean she is done with the world of professional sport.
The Aussie is a golf nut and has on many occasions been spotted with a club in her hands. Both her parents were also good golfers, and it appears that particular gene was passed on. Barty even impressed Tiger Woods with her swing a few years ago.
She was invited to the launch event of the Presidents Cup ahead of the 2019 tournament, which was taking place Down Under. While there she picked up a wedge and took part in a chipping competition, causing the golf legend to say: "She's got a great swing, are you kidding me?"
Barty even used the down time when the Covid pandemic first hit to work on her swing and reduce her handicap to just four, before winning an annual tournament at the Brookwater Golf Club where she first met her fiance, professional golfer Garry Kissick. he obvious love and affinity for the sport beg the question – could she launch a new career on the golf tour?
After revealing that her dad had played on an amateur level representing his country, Barty told Australian Golf Digest earlier this year: "Golf has always been a sport that’s come quite naturally to me. I mean, even my mum was a very, very good golfer herself and her whole family loves to play. I guess if there was one sport that’s truly in the Barty genes, it’s probably golf, more so than tennis."
Her talent for golf is obvious, and it is clear that the Aussie is more than capable of playing multiple sports on a professional career. After all, in September 2014 she took an 18-month break from her tennis career and, in the latter half of that period, played some professional cricket in her home state of Queensland.
A year ago, she seemed to suggest that the idea of playing three sports professionally was far-fetched. "It's funny listening to other golfers suggest I could turn pro at golf if I committed to it," she said. "But no, I think for me, two sports is enough. Tennis is obviously the focus and cricket was a bit of fun, but golf for me is a hobby. I love it."
However, now that she has called a premature end to her tennis career, there is no reason why she can't fill that gap with an attempt to conquer the golf world. However, it seems that any decision on that front will be made down the road, judging by what Barty said in her retirement announcement video.
"The next phase of life as Ash Barty the person, not Ash Barty the athlete," she declared. That was after she had already told fans: "I [no longer] have the physical drive, the emotional want. I just know that I'm absolutely spent."
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