By Kent Gray
Celina Yuan nailed a birdie, quite literally, in the opening round of the Omega Dubai Ladies Classic but has emerged from the unsettling incident to be on course for the biggest payday of her fledging professional career.
The 18-year-old Australian inadvertently knocked a parrot out of the sky on Wednesday.
“I was going to hit my shot, and everything was clear, and then once I began, and I hit my shot, a parrot flew by and I hit it in the air and it passed away,” said Yuan who somehow re-gathered her composure to actually birdie the hole en-route to an opening 68.
The Sydneysider backed it up with another five birdies of the golfing kind during a second round 69 to move to -7 for the championship, just three shots off Dutchwoman Anne Van Dam’s halfway lead.
It’s just the second cut Yuan has made but sadly not the only feathered friend that has meet with an untimely end courtesy of one of her shots.
“Somehow these things keep happening to me and it has happened before. Again, it was mid-air and I somehow hit it, hit another bird, two years ago, I was practicing on the range.”
The teen has earned just €750 in six LET starts the season, every euro of it at the Thailand Championship where she finished 66th.
Last place in Dubai is worth nearly double that – €1265 to be exact – but Yuan will be hoping for much more after her great start.
“I never really expected to play like this. Really, I wasn’t striking it very well today, but the score somehow turned out pretty good,” said Yuan, crediting her short game. “I holed a lot of putts that I never really hole any other day. I hope to do just as well the next two days.”