3rd June 2016 | Sunshine Ladies Tour
Reto ready to fire at ShopRite LPGA Classic
South Africaâ€™s Paula Reto is enjoying her best season since joining the LPGA Tour in 2014 and the Bloemfontein is set to reel in more world ranking points in this weekâ€™s ShopRite LPGA Classic in New Jersey.
Last year, the petite Bloemfontein native earned a fraction more than the $100,000 in 22 and finished the season ranked 88th in the final Money List.
But after 12 starts this season, Reto has broken the $120,000 mark and nearly doubled her total earnings of her first two years on the LPGA Tour. She rocketed from outside top 200 in the Rolex World Rankings to 111th, climbed to 51st in the LPGA Tourâ€™s Official Money List and moved to 49th in the Race to CME Globe chase. And, she did all this despite missing four cuts and withdrawing from last weekâ€™s LPGA Volvik Championship.
The 26-year-old will bring her A-game when she lines up alongside Sunshine Ladies Tour champions Ashleigh Simon and Bertine Strauss in Galloway for the first round of the $1.5-million event, which tees off at the Bay Course of the Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club today.
Compatriots Simon and Strauss will also be looking for a fast start in Galloway.
Simon missed her first three cuts but changed the tide at the Volunteers of America Texas Shootout in April. She has banked two more cheques since and played her way into the US Womenâ€™s Open at one of the regional qualifiers last month.
At 111 in the rankings, Simon is in pretty good shape at the six month mark, but a good week in New Jersey could help the 27-year-old Johannesburg pro break into the top 100 on the LPGA Tour Money List.
Strauss, however, needs a solid performance this week.
The LPGA Tour rookie kicked off the season with a trio of sizzling victories in South Africa and converted that form to cash in the early season on the LPGA Tour, but the 24-year-old Koster went off the boil in April. Strauss was well in front of Simon on the Money List two months ago, but she missed four successive cuts and she has slipped back to 113th in the money list.
Simon believes Strauss can turn her season around.
â€œBertine just needs one good performance to get her confidence back up to get her season back on track,â€ Simon said. â€œThe first season out is tough, because you are under the gun to keep your card and you put unbelievable pressure on yourself. The more cuts you miss, the bigger that pressure gets, but she is a very talented player and a great competitor and Iâ€™m sure she will turn it around.â€
PHOTO â€“ Paula Reto; credit LPGA Tour.