Ashleigh Barty news: Tennis star turned golf pro Scott Draper urges Aussie to follow in his footsteps

Ashleigh Barty addresses the media

Scott Draper was a former world No 42 in the world of tennis, but he turned to golf over 20 years ago and hasn’t looked back since – and he wants former world No 1 Ashleigh Barty to do the same.

Draper, who is also from Australia like Barty, made the career switch during the early 2000s as he was using golf to cope with the death of his first wife Kellie Grieg, and has since won the 2007 NSW PGA Championship, the biggest title to his name.

He now wants the three time Grand Slam champion to challenge herself to try out a new sport as a professional.

“When people are making a decision to do something that is perhaps out of their comfort zone or a little bit different, I just like life and people tend to go you shouldn’t do that or can’t do that,” the 1992 junior doubles Wimbledon champion told the Courier Mail.

“It is great when someone has the passion to do something different or they give it a go regardless of what the outcome may be.

“What she did, to be No 1 in the world at 25 years of age, to make a decision like that, it is completely extraordinary that someone has that courage and clarity.”

Barty is set to play in the golf ICONS’s series alongside the likes of Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, Olympic champion Michael Phelps and boxer Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvaraz in July, which has increased speculation that she’s going to try her hand at professional golf.

The Australian Open champion has already caught the eye of golf coaches including Australian PGA tour winner Matt Jones’ coach Gary Barter.

He said: “Her set-up is perfect, she has great dynamics already which is really important for distance.

“The positive is her awesome athletic motion, technique and mental side to compete.”

There have been rumours circulating Barty since she announced her retirement from tennis, such as her trying cricket out again or starting a new sport like football but it’s looking likely that golf is next on the horizon for the Aussie.