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The Gulf Club

New direction: Dubai golfer Amelia McKee turns pro after graduation, Q-School in Florida up next

Amelia McKee, bottom right, with her New Mexico State University teammates. Amelia McKee

By Matt Smith
One of Dubai’s own is setting out on a new career path as just-graduated Amelia McKee has taken the decision to turn pro, stating “it is time to try my hand at a professional career, and move into my ‘grown-up’ life.”

The American 22-year-old has said farewell to New Mexico State University after graduating at the weekend, closing a chapter on a golfing journey that took her halfway around the world and back again.

The Houston, Texas, native moved to Dubai as a 10-year-old as her father took a job in the oil industry. She quickly fell in love with the game of golf in the UAE, progressing through the ranks while contending with the male players as there was no young female golf scene to speak of back then.

Amelia caught the attention of Claude Harmon at the Els Club, Dubai and he helped guide her on her journey that led to a scholarship at NMSU.

Three years further on and next up is Q-School in Florida, with the aim being the Epson Tour and — ultimately — the LPGA Tour.

“Today I say goodbye to college golf,” Amelia wrote in a public social media post.

“There are so many things that I have to say, none of which fully capture what I am actually feeling. I am unbelievably grateful for the experience and time I have had here at NMSU. Thinking about where I started, how I got here, and the last three years of my life bring up so many emotions. I could never put into words how much it all means to me.

“To my teammates -— you girls have changed my life in ways that you will never understand. You gave me a family far away from mine. You gave me peace and happiness on my hardest days. You helped me rekindle my love for the game of golf. For those things, I will never be able to repay you. But know that I have loved every moment being here with you.

“You’re going to do amazing things, long after I’m gone. And long after college. You’re the best people I have ever known. I can’t wait to see where this crazy world takes you, I know it will be magic. I love you forever.”

A young Amelia McKee with Sergio Garcia

Amelia also took time out to show appreciation to her coaches.

“Thank you for taking a chance on me,” she wrote. “I’m so proud to have been apart of the programme you created. Over the past three years, you have exceeded any expectation that I had of college golf. Thank you for the opportunity. Thank you for believing in me, even when it was hard to do myself. Thank you for simply being there when I needed you. Y’all are the best thing that could have happened to me. The 2019 version of myself was so lost and confused, you gave me a purpose and direction when I needed it the most. I am forever grateful.”

She signed off: “New Mexico State University, I will love you until the end of time.”

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