Around eight months ago, Momoka Kobori had no idea how she was going to spend the winter golf season in New Zealand.
Fast-track to a month later and the New Zealander won her second title on the Ladies European Access Series (LETAS) with a four shot victory at the Hauts de France – Pas de Calais Golf Open.
Prior to that, Kobori captured her first win in just her first European start at the 2022 Montauban Ladies Open.
Six top-10 and two top-20 finishes in the second half of the season helped Kobori to clinch a third place position in the LETAS Order of Merit and secure herself a 2023 LET card.
Despite the heroics, at the start of last year Kobori never imagined she would be on the LET for 2023.
“I absolutely did not think I would be here now,” she said. “The seasons in New Zealand are opposite, so my plan was to go to Access for four weeks and then come back home.
“I had not planned to use LETAS as a pathway to get onto the LET. It was not planned from the start, but it unfolded as the season went on.”
Kobori emphasised how little regret she has from her big move over from faraway New Zealand.
“The move from New Zealand has been great,” she said. “Last year was the first year I came to Europe, so that was a bit of a change but I really enjoyed the four months I played on the Access Series.
“The friends I made and the people I got to know made the tour amazing, LETAS allows you to have an easy transition into the lifestyle of playing on tour.”
The New Zealand sensation cites the two wins on tour as personal highlights but also spoke passionately about her time off the course.
“One big highlight was the people I was able to meet on the tour and that is what kind of matters in the end, obviously the golf as well but the people make up a big part of it.”
The 23-year-old’s journey into golf started at the young age of 12 alongside her brother after her dad got them into the sport. At 15, Kobori decided golf was the sport for her, naming the challenge of golf as her biggest motivator.
“The challenge of golf motivates me a lot.” she said. “What I love about golf is the fact you never really get it perfect, this makes golf the most frustrating sport there is but it also makes it one of the greatest things about it as well.
“I love competing but I also love working on my game. My aim is to get to a point where I am happy with my game, I really enjoy that process element of golf.”
Speaking about LETAS, the ambitious golfer can’t recommend the tour enough. The tour has gotten so much more competitive in recent years, LETAS is such a great pathway onto the LET, in many ways an underrated pathway.
“I had never heard about the Access series before 2022, a lot of people don’t know about it but I know a lot of players who would benefit from it, especially from further afield than Europe.
“It would be great if more people became aware of it.”
Kobori’s 2023 LET season got off to a strong start at the Magical Kenya Ladies Open with a top 30 finish.