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27th March 2014 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Bregman stalks success in Zambia

Bregman stalks success at Zambia Ladies Open

 

Super Sport ChallengeStacy Bregman is hoping her first visit to Zambia is a winning one when she tees it up in the opening round of the Zambia Ladies Open Championship at Ndola Golf Club on Friday.

 

The European Ladies Tour campaigner will go in search of her first title since 2008, when she claimed her maiden pro win at the Pam Golding Ladies International at Nelspruit Golf Club.

 

Bregman had her first look at the par-73 layout in a practice round on Wednesday and enjoyed another trip around the 5,955-meter course in Thursday’s pro-am.

 

“I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised at the condition and layout of the course,” Bregman said.

 

“I’m not sure what we expected, but certainly not to find a course so lush and green. The design is classic, with generous fairways and although the greens are a little slower than we are used to, they run surprisingly true.

 

“I’ve enjoyed myself out there in the last two days and I’m just really keen to get going.”

 

Course preparations for the first women’s professional tournament in Zambia received a welcome helping hand from nature, as a fair amount of rain has recently fallen in the region.

 

The 27-year-old was stunned to learn that the members also jumped in with the course preparation.

 

“We found out yesterday that members have been bringing their lawn mowers to help the greenkeeper get the course ready,” Bregman said. “That’s not something you are going to see at home.

 

“I’m absolutely gobsmacked at how hard everyone has worked to make this tournament happen. They even upgraded the clubhouse with a new ladies locker room in preparation for our arrival.

 

“Last night we were told that 67 different sponsors made this all happen. We all definitely want to give them a great tournament and hopefully, inspire a whole generation of young girls to take up the game.”

 

The top ranked player in the field comes into the event in good form after stints on the LET and the recent Sunshine Ladies Tour.

 

Bregman tied for ninth at the Tshwane Ladies Open, finished joint fourth at the SuperSport Challenge and second at the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies at Glendower.

 

Ranked 10th on the Order of Merit, Bregman looked like she was heading for the Investec Cup for Ladies, but was bumped from the final field by England’s Lauren Blease, who leapfrogged Bregman with a joint runner-up finish at the final qualifying event.

 

“I skipped the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies at Blue Valley to play in the LET’s Lalla Meryem Cup and I was gutted when I didn’t qualify for the final,” Bregman explained. “I played a limited schedule this year, though, but I’ll give the Sunshine Ladies Tour a full go next year.”

 

Bregman believes the putter will be key at Ndola.

 

“You need to be hitting it pretty straight off the tee, but I believe it will come down to the greens,” she said. “Personally, I’d love to win here at Ndola, though. It would be something to be the first name on the Zambia Ladies Open trophy.”

 

The field includes 30 professionals and 19 amateurs from 13 countries.

 

Bregman leads the pro field alongside Sunshine Ladies Tour champions Monique Smit, Tandi von Ruben and Kim Williams.

 

Zambia’s top ranked Melissa and Tina Nawa lead the amateur line-up, alongside South Africa’s top two, Magda Kruger and Michaela Fletcher and Loice Shingono and Shamiso Makwara from Zimbabwe,

 

PHOTO – Stacy Bregman; credit Catherine Kotze / SASPA.