By Dane Heverin
Caitlin Peirce is an agricultural science student who spent a week with Karrie Webb at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship last year courtesy of being one of Australia’s best amateur golfers.
The South Australian topped the Karrie Webb Series throughout the Australian summer of 2021/22 with three victories in amateur events to earn a scholarship from the seven-time major champion that included the trip to the United States to rub shoulders with the game’s elite.
Despite experiencing the highs of playing golf with Webb and getting to meet the likes of Hannah Green and Minjee Lee among other major champions, Peirce is a normal 20-year-old who is in the second year of her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Adelaide.
Academia runs in her bloodline – her mother and her older sister are PhD recipients, while her father completed a Master’s degree – and her family are a major source motivation for the 20-year-old.
“In everyday life my biggest inspiration is my sister. She’s 14 years older than me and I’ve always looked up to her growing up. She’s done so many cool things travelling wise that I would love to do,” Peirce said.
“With my family we do a quiz every Sunday night when they come around and I’m pretty good at giving clues to my sister but to her only. We think on a very similar wavelength. I’m able to find a way for her to know what I’m thinking pretty easily.”
Peirce’s competitiveness does not let it up whether it is the Sunday evening quiz with her family, a university exam or a golf tournament.
She sums her attitude up simply.
“I want to be the best at what I’m doing,” she said.
“I like scoring well when I play golf and I’ve always wanted to be better at it. It’s the same with university. Academic validation always makes you feel pretty good.”
Despite Peirce’s desire to strive for greatness translating across the many aspects of her life, she conducts herself in different fashion when she is on the fairway versus being in the library.
The Royal Adelaide member is regarded as a composed, methodical figure when she is competing for golf titles, but it is a different story when she opens up her laptop.
“Out on the golf course, you can’t really tell if I’m playing well or badly. I look the same all the time which is a not a bad way to be. I’m pretty calm on the golf course but off the golf course I’m probably a little bit more stressed out,” she said.
“I’m probably naturally a very stressed person. I’m probably a bit of an overthinker so sending emails I like them to sound perfect before I send them. Same as if I miss a university lecture and it starts to pile up, I feel like I can’t move on because I haven’t seen the one before hand.”
Just as Peirce quest for knowledge stemmed from her family, so too did her love of golf.
She grew up around the sport and at the age of 11 she decided to seriously give it a go. She has reaped the rewards ever since.
“My dad got me into it. He’d take me out to junior clinics and both my grandpas used to play. It was always there but it wasn’t until 11 that I got sick of team sports and decided to give golf a proper go,” Peirce recalled.
“I think through golf I’ve learned to be a lot more independent and outgoing. I’ve travelled a lot and I’ve gotten more comfortable being uncomfortable in new situations. It’s definitely made me more well-rounded and capable at a lot of different things.”
This week Peirce will make her debut in The Athena and the ground-breaking event marks the beginning of a host of exciting opportunities.
She is part of the Australian squad for next week’s Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific in Singapore alongside fellow The Athena competitors Justice Bosio and Keeley Marx.
Later in the year she is eyeing off a maiden trip to Europe and a possible return to the United States, but first she is focused on showing off her skills this weekend.
“It’s quite different to anything else I’ve played in before which is quite exciting,” she said.
“The format is different, what you can wear is different and there’s probably lots of little things you wouldn’t find at a regular golf tournament.”
The Athena is on Saturday and Sunday at Sandy Golf Links and is live on Fox Sports and Kayo Sports. For more information click here.