A BORDERS teenager is putting in the practice over Christmas ahead of joining the Japanese professional golf ranks in the new year.

Karis Davidson first hit the greens as a five-year-old in her native Innerleithen.

And despite emigrating to the Australian Gold Coast with mum, Faye, and dad, Graeme, and wee brother Zak four years later, her fondness of the fairways continued.

Now the 19-year-old has played her way onto the lucrative Japanese Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour for 2018.

Karis was required to negotiate her way through three stages of qualifying before reaching the final stage, finishing 17th, 4th and 41st in the three 54-hole examinations spread over more than three months.

She recovered from an opening round 74 at the final stage to advance her way through the field and eventually finish 11th - and now has the prospect of a full season as a rookie pro to develop her game even further.

In 2017 the JLPGA Tour consisted of 38 events - a bigger schedule than any other women's tour - with more than A$40 million in prize money on offer.

A delighted Karis told us: "I'm really excited to have turned professional and I’m looking forward to the years ahead and experiences to come.

“Qualifying was difficult especially starting from the first stage, but a fun and exciting feeling to keep passing the stages."

Karis shone from a young age on golf courses around the Borders.

By the time she'd reached eight years old she had been enrolled into the Kings Acre's Young Guns programme in Midlothian.

But it was when she arrived in Australia that her career took off.

She was scouted by a Korean golf coach at the age of just 11 and was invited into the AnK (Australia and Korea) Golf Academy - and eight years on she is still a student.

Over the past three years Karis has become one of Australian golf's leading amateur players, under the guidance of coach Ian Triggs, and has twice received the Karrie Webb scholarship.

With a place in the Japan tour secured, Karis is heading back to her home in Queensland to spend Christmas and prepare for the most exciting season of her career so far.

She added: "When I get back to Australia I will sit down and make a list of all my goals - it's been pretty full on trying to organise things for next year.”

The 2018 Japan LPGA season begins in March.