2nd July 2014 | Sunshine Ladies Tour
SLT women primed for European Masters
Stacy Bregman, Ashleigh Simon and Lee-Anne Pace will carry a load of confidence into the ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters after some superb performances on the Ladies European Tour and LPGA last week.
Bregman will look to improve on a tie for fifth at the Italian Ladies Open, Simon will hunt a podium finish after losing to seven-time Major champion, Karrie Web, in last year’s edition and after a couple of competitive weeks on US soil, Pace is primed to take her LET winning tally to nine.
Bregman was five off the pace after an opening 70 at the Perugia Golf Club in Umbria, but lost touch with a one-over-par 73 in the second round. The 27-year-old Joburg pro negated the advantage of three birdies with three bogeys before the turn in the final round, but after four straight pars, Bregman knocked in an eagle putt at the par-five 14th and dipped to four under par after back-to-back birdies at the 15th and 16th.
A double bogey at the 17th and another drop at the 18th cost her a share of second, but her closing 71 was enough to secure Bregman a top five finish at two-under-par 214.
The reigning Zambia Ladies Open champion vaulted to eighth in the rankings and hopes her current reign of form will carry her to a podium finish at Buckinghamshire this week.
“I did a lot of work with my coach, Neville Sundelson, this season and during the recent break and it feels like I’m getting closer to victory all the time,” said Bregman from Buckinghamshire on Tuesday. “You always drop a couple of shots, so you accept that. The Italian Open was a great warm-up for me, though, and I’m looking forward this week. I’ve played two practice rounds already and will fit another in before we tee off. The course is in fantastic condition and I’m pretty confident going into the week.”
Two-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner Monique Smit made the most of a rare start on the LET to claim a share of 27th on four over 220 alongside compatriot Connie Chen, while LET rookie Kim Williams bounced back from a missed cut in Italy to tie for 59th.
Meanwhile Simon and Pace battled delays, suspensions and appalling weather in Rogers to both earn cheques at the LPGA’s Arkansas Championship.
Three-time Sunshine Ladies Tour champion Simon made the cut on the button with rounds of 70 and 72 and a final round 68 lifted her to a tie for 37th on three-under-par 210. Investec Cup for Ladies champion Pace opened with a 68, shot a second round 73 and rallied with a 71 in the final round for a share of 54th on one under 212.
Simon and Pace are among 48 tournament winners lining up and will join the action at the 18-hole John Jacobs designed championship course in Buckinghamshire alongside Sunshine Ladies Tour regulars Bregman, Williams, Bonita Bredenhann from Namibia and Swaziland’s Nobuhle Dlamini, as well as Chen.
Other top names in the 144-strong field include defending champion Webb from Australia, four time Major winner, Dame Laura Davies, 2014 LET champions Charley Hull and Kylie Walker from Britain and 12-time LET champion Gwladys Nocera from France.
PHOTOS – Reigning Zambia Ladies Open champion Stacy Bregman, two-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner Monique Smit and three-time Sunshine Ladies Tour champion Ashleigh Simon; credit Dale Boyce and Catherine Kotze.