Breg­man braces for US greens

Golf: Af­ter shin­ing in Europe, she’s go­ing for the big one

CityPress - - Sport - PULE MOKHINE pmokhine@city­press.co.za

South African golfer Stacy-Lee Breg­man will head for the Ladies PGA (LPGA) Tour Qual­i­fy­ing School in Florida in the US next month in her quest to earn a qual­i­fy­ing card to play in the US.

The pre­lim­i­nary qual­i­fy­ing stage in her mis­sion to make it big in women’s golf gets into swing next month when she com­petes with 29 other play­ers from across the world at Plan­ta­tion Golf and Coun­try Club in Florida in the US from Septem­ber 30.

From there, the 27-year-old Joburg-born player, who cur­rently cam­paigns on the Ladies Euro­pean Tour (LET), will com­pete in the LPGA in­ter­na­tional tour­na­ment fi­nal at Day­tona Beach Golf Course, also in Florida, from De­cem­ber 3. It is from this con­test that she will earn her card to com­pete in what is the high­est level in women’s golf.

If she suc­ceeds in the US, Breg­man will be­come the coun­try’s fourth player – af­ter com­pa­tri­ots Lee-Anne Pace, Ash­leigh Si­mon and Paula Reto – to ob­tain an LPGA tour card.

But Breg­man’s route to try­ing her luck in more de­mand­ing golf did not come easy.

She made the grade by virtue of her im­pres­sive show­ing in Europe, where she is ranked 14th. She is also placed sec­ond on the Sun­shine Ladies Tour, some­thing that has stood her in good stead.

An op­ti­mistic Breg­man told City Press this week she was look­ing for­ward to play­ing in the US.

“I can’t wait to go to the tour school, where I be­lieve I will make a mark and get my card. I have done pretty well in Europe, where I’ve been fin­ish­ing in the top 10 in some tour­na­ments of late,” said Breg­man.

“The time is ripe for me to now cam­paign in the US, where com­pe­ti­tion is ex­tremely stiff.”

Breg­man has been play­ing in Europe for the past three years – as well as tak­ing part in some con­tests at home.

She reg­is­tered a ma­jor vic­tory on the LET by win­ning the in­au­gu­ral Zam­bia Ladies Open Cham­pi­onship at Ndola Golf Club in Lusaka in March.

Breg­man played in the Women’s Bri­tish Open at Royal Birk­dale Golf Club in Lan­cashire, UK, last month but missed the cut by a sin­gle shot in the sec­ond round.

A week be­fore, she fin­ished sixth in the ISPS Handa Ladies Euro­pean Mas­ters at Buck­ing­hamshire Golf Club in Den­ham, Buck­ing­hamshire, in the UK.

She fin­ished ninth at the Sber­bank Golf Mas­ters at Golf Club Plzeň Dýšina in Prague, Czech Repub­lic, on July 27.

Breg­man’s coach, Neville Sun­del­son, be­lieves his charge has what it takes to make a mark in the US.

“Stacy has im­proved in all as­pects of her game for the 12 years that I have been coach­ing her. With her men­tal at­ti­tude and the way she plays, she will def­i­nitely qual­ify to play in Amer­ica,” said Sun­del­son.

With such a high de­gree of op­ti­mism it re­mains to be seen if Breg­man will in­deed crack the US.

PHOTO: CHRIS­TI­AAN KOTZE

FAIR­WAY LADY Sta­cyLee Breg­man hits a fair­way shot dur­ing the Sun­shine Ladies Tour Su­perS­port Chal­lenge. She trav­els to the US next month

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