Beisiegel breaking new ground at Calgary event
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.