Czech golf has another big hope for the American university. Art student Sára Kousková was even so impressed with her performances that the European tour rules are going to change because of her. According to current regulations, Kousková is not allowed to accumulate points at this year’s tournaments, although she will graduate in May. Even because of her case, the Ladies European Tour will likely change the established rules.
Through successful qualification, you can but do not want to enter points earned in LET tournaments. Are you sorry that you didn’t get an exception at the end, or do you feel that no other student will have such a dilemma thanks to you and won’t have to choose between school and the Tour ?
I am very happy that we were able to help and that the rules have changed. But when I went to school, I knew that if I didn’t turn pro by January 31, I couldn’t accept the ticket. We tried to resolve the situation, but it didn’t work, I’ll be an amateur for a while, but I certainly don’t regret anything. I believe that in the final, my path will not be different, just maybe a little slower.
You have been invited to a major tournament, where the best of the best play, and yet you have decided to play an amateur tournament in Augusta at the turn of March and April, where the prestigious men’s Masters are usually played. Did you have a big dilemma?
It was a very difficult decision. Having this opportunity is unique and engaging at the same time. We considered all the pros and cons with the team, or in this case, it was actually the same for her. There were more on the Augusta side. It’s a golf sanctuary for me. A golfer has it like Christmas when he can play it. A normal mortal has no chance of making it, and the audience is very limited.
Do you have Augusta as a Masters fan?
Watching the Masters, you catch a lot of them. I was also lucky enough to be able to do such a training trip at the end of February, and with a caddy who knows the route, I was able to cross Augusta. I received a lot of information, I heard countless stories from the field. Now I know exactly where these exotic trees grow. I also know the flowers there, I even started drawing some. I can’t wait.
It means you are studying art in America. What did you really want to be as small as?
I had different professions in my head. I had a dream, for example, a cook, a circus acrobat or a policewoman. It wasn’t until later that I discovered that golf could nourish me that I devoted more time to it. And that’s still my main motivation to professionalize myself.
So why art? Would you like to make a living as a painter or sculptor?
Art is one of the other areas that I like to do. I got my art degree, which only confirmed to me that I would like to pursue art. I didn’t know much about studying in the USA, but now I can say it was a great choice. I study in the studio, instead of studying something I don’t like. So far it’s not like I can make a living as a sculptor or painter, after all golf is more prevalent. But in the future, for example, art will prevail, we’ll see.
Sarah Piece business card
Photo: Sára Kousková archive
Age: 22 years old
He studied art at the University of Texas at Austin.
As a golf fan during the December qualifiers, she played a full card on the Ladies European Tour.
From March 30 to April 2, she will be the first Czech in history to play in a prestigious amateur tournament in Augusta.
What sound does Czech golf have in America?
The sound is amplified, which is very pleasant. We are still perceived as a country where golf is not very widespread. But as we get to know each other, they understand that we have some kind of golf history. Sometimes she wonders exaggeratedly how a golfer like me could have been born in our country. Also, the results of other college golfers help, Jirka Zuska is doing very well at the University of Louisville. We also have other great girls who are making a good name for Czech golf.
You admitted on social media that the situation in Ukraine affects you and you are trying to help from a distance. How do they perceive the conflict in the USA?
Their views and solutions differ depending on which side of the political spectrum they belong to. But the prevailing feeling is that it is a bad and sad event that should not have happened. We at the university are very affected, we have a Ukrainian in the tennis team who has a family in the affected areas. We try to support her.
Besides, you’re trying to raise funds, aren’t you?
It’s like that. We asked Augusta National Golf Club management if we could use two of our tournament tickets, which we received for family and partners, for a charity auction, with proceeds going directly to the humanitarian aid in Ukraine. Unfortunately, after almost a week of negotiations by the club management, we received a negative opinion. As usual, there are a lot of rules at Augusta, and one of them is that free tickets cannot be redistributed. Not even for charity. So we decided to put up for sale the souvenirs bought during my visit in February.
You cannot hide that your dream is to qualify for the Paris Games. Do you have any step-by-step goals in this regard?
I have to do a two-year qualification cycle which starts in the second half of this year. I will gradually collect points in the Olympic ranking at each of the tournaments, which I will then play as a professional. I’m glad it’s like that, it’s not about a performance that I have to show, but about a longer work. It might help me. I’m the kind of more consistent player who doesn’t have a lot of ups and downs.
And what about other golf dreams?
Of course, I would love to watch the Solheim Cup, which is the women’s equivalent of the Ryder Cup, where teams from the United States and Europe compete. And she won one of the major tournaments. But the most important thing is that the work I do fulfills me in every way. Only then will I have a chance to achieve these other goals.