CANA­DIAN TOUR

Beisiegel break­ing new ground at Cal­gary event

Calgary Herald - - SPORTS - JOHN DOWN JDOWN@CAL­GARY­HER­ALD.COM

No height, no weight, no birth date, no mug shot. And, un­der­stand­ably, no sta­tis­tics.

That’s what you’ll learn about Is­abelle Beisiegel on the Cana­dian Tour web­site. Noth­ing.

And the rea­son why is be­cause the first woman to win a card on any men’s pro golf tour won’t start build­ing her sheet un­til she makes her tour de­but Thurs­day in the $200,000 ATB Fi­nan­cial Clas­sic at Bearspaw.

But there are sev­eral things we know about the sweet-swing­ing Que­be­cer more af­fec­tion­ately known as Izzy. She’s been one of Canada’s top fe­male tour­ing pros for a num­ber of years, not only per­form­ing ad­mirably on the DuMau­rier and CN tours, but also on the Fu­tures Tour and, for a brief time, on the LPGA Tour.

She never quite made as much noise, how­ever, as she did this past May when she fin­ished ninth at the Cana­dian Tour’s Qual­i­fy­ing School to earn her card in her third try. She’s failed in six at­tempts to get her PGA Tour card.

But now she’s ready to com­pete with the boys.

“I’m just happy to be part of the field,” she said Tues­day, prior to tak­ing her place in the af­ter­noon shift of a dou­ble pro-am. “All I would like to do is be top 156 this week.”

In other words, Izzy doesn’t have big ex­pec­ta­tions in the field of 156.

But then, she sel­dom sets goals for her­self go­ing into any tour­na­ment.

“This is the first time, a great ex­pe­ri­ence,” she said. “I try not to go in with ex­pec­ta­tions any­way and just pre­pare my­self for ei­ther al­ter­na­tive on each shot . . . ei­ther bad or good and just to be con­tent and do my best.

“Just to be here in Canada, too. It’s so ex­cit­ing. I re­ally en­joy play­ing the Fu­tures Tour and Cana­dian women’s tour but this is just such a bless­ing to be here.”

Beisiegel is get­ting back into the flow of things af­ter go­ing through a bout with Graves disease, a painful con­di­tion af­fect­ing the thy­roid gland, which was di­ag­nosed in 2005. Fa­tigue and raised heart­beat are some of the symp­toms. She had surgery in 2006. “The thy­roid hor­mones I have to take fi­nally got all set­tled in 2008 so I have been healthy for three years now,” she said. “I was re­ally for­tu­nate be­cause there’s a lot worse things. I had great coun­sel from other peo­ple who had gone through it and who were able to com­fort me and guide me along.”

Hus­band Daniel will help guide her around Bearspaw this week as her caddy. The 18 holes check in at al­most 6,800 yards, much more yardage than she plays in most women’s events but short for most Cana­dian Tour out­ings.

So, does tack­ling a longer course and con­sid­er­ably tougher foes push her game for­ward?

“There’s such dif­fer­ent chal­lenges, so def­i­nitely,” she said. “When I have a 5-iron to hinto the green on the Fu­tures Tour I think, ‘Ahhh, that’s a lot of club.’ Then out here when I get a 5-iron, it’s like ‘Yes, I have an iron into the green!’

“It teaches you a lit­tle bit about per­spec­tive. Golf is a fun game and a chal­lenge . . . it re­sem­bles life a lot.”

THISANDTHA­T: Strath­more’s Dustin Ris­don is de­fend­ing cham­pion of the ATB, which he won last year at Ed­mon­ton. He’s also won this event at Cot­ton­wood. He says his short game has been solid, his tee game hasn’t been up to snuff. Un­til now. Dustin took a les­son from ju­nior swing coach Terry Carter on Tues­day morn­ing and he’s turned a soft fade into a pre­ferred draw.

Is­abelle Beisiegel will com­pete in the $200,000 ATB Fi­nan­cial Clas­sic at Bearspaw.

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