Simon announced that she was making the transition from amateur to pro at a bustling media event in Johannesburg a little more than a week ago, and emerged as one of South Africa’s favourite new sporting heroines.
Simon simultaneously become one of the country’s best-supported women athletes, when she announced personal sponsorships with heavyweights IMG, Nike, Supersport and Golf Digest.
But Simon won’t enjoy recalling her entry to the highly-contested professional circuit, when a total of three double-bogies added to seven bogies were offset by only 5 birdies, her 36-hole total of 152 three shots short of the cut, and eleven shots off the leader.
Her card for the first two rounds reveal that her excellent driving accuracy was undermined by a failure to convert good fairway positions into eagle- and birdie holes, despite much- improved putting on day two.
Lee-Anne Pace finished best among the South African women, her first round even-par 72 ruined by a 78 on day two, while Stacy Lee Bregman shot a 78 and 76, to finish for a share of 95th place with Laurette Maritz and Simon.
Maritz played great golf the previous weekend to finish four off the pace and 5th overall behind Australian Nikki Garrett, never carding worse than an even-par, and signing for 66 on a great day 3.
But hopes of continuity of that form was denied when Maritz recorded scores of 74 and 78, for an early exit and some rest before the next tournament.
Meanwhile, Germany’s Bettina Hauert won the Deutsche Bank Ladies Swiss Open to claim her maiden professional victory.
Hauert won in dramatic fashion at the Golf Gerre Losone, in Switzerland, after defeating Anna Rawson and Paula Marti a three-way play-off.
“It was a fight from the first to the last but it’s been great,” said Hauert. “I have been in play-offs as an amateur but never in my professional life.
“I live for this feeling. This is what we practise for and this is what we live for. Holding the cheque and holding the trophy is just amazing,” said Hauert,
Hauert, 24 from Hagen, posted a final round of 72 in regulation, with three birdies on the final three holes to finish on three-under-par.
She finally clinched victory at the fourth extra hole after four birdies on the par-five 447-yard 18th hole at Golf Gerre Losone.
It meant that she had come from three shots behind after 15 holes to post a run of seven consecutive birdies.
Australia’s Rawson, Spain’s Marti and Hauert all birdied the first extra hole to progress to the second hole.
Then Marti and Hauert both birdied the second. Rawson was eliminated after she two-putted for par.
Both Hauert and Marti birdied the third extra hole, Hauert by rolling in a long 12 foot putt, while Marti chipped hers stone dead.
At the fourth extra hole, Marti found trouble off the tee, and was forced to lay up in front of the water.
Hauert missed an eagle putt, but made her second putt for birdie from four feet, while Marti missed a short birdie putt from five feet, and with that Hauert deservedly raised the tournament trophy.
The next Ladies European Tour event is the BMW Italian Ladies Open at the Sheraton Golf Parco de’ Medici starting on Wednesday 23 May, where Morgana Robbertze will join Bregman, Maritz and Pace as the fourth South African golfer, while Simon takes a break.