Stacy Bregman made a promising start in her first tournament as a professional in South Africa when she claimed a two-stroke lead in the first round of the Pam Golding Ladies International at Dainfern Country Club on Wednesday.
Bregman, who turned professional after winning the World Amateur Team Championship with Ashleigh Simon and Kelli Shean and immediately qualified for the Ladies European Tour, opened with a seven under par 66 on the par-73 layout.
The young star carded seven birdies, an eagle and two bogeys to head the field over England’s Kiran Matharu, who posted a 68.
Rebecca Hudson and another South African rookie professional in Lee-Anne Pace were next best with rounds of four under 69.
Defending champion Nora Angehrn opened with a one under 72, while amateur sensation Ashleigh Simon signed for a level par 73.
As impressive as Bregman’s round was, it could by her own admission have been even better.
She lipped out for birdie at the first two holes, then lipped out for eagle at the third but secured her birdie.
Bregman went on to make birdie from two feet at the fourth, lip out for birdie at the seventh, hole a six-footer for birdie at the eighth and then hole a 65-foot putt for eagle at the ninth.
She opened her back nine with four birdies in five holes from the 10th, then dropped her first shot with a three-putt on the 15th and her second when she failed to get up and down for par on the 17th.
“I played really well and everything was going exactly where I wanted it to,” said Bregman, who returned home from the Ladies European Tour confident of claiming a maiden victory on the Ladies African Tour.
“I have really been looking forward to these tournaments because I feel I can win at least one of them. I’ve been working very hard on my game and I gained a lot of experience playing in Australia.”
Bregman has been working on her short game with close friend Neil Schietekat, who is also in his rookie season as a professional on the men’s Sunshine Tour.
Schietekat made an impact in only his third event when he challenged for the recent Vodacom Championship title and finished tied fifth.
Pam Golding Ladies International
Dainfern Country Club, Johannesburg (Par 73)
66 Stacy Bregman68 Kiran Matharu (Eng)
69 Lee-Anne Pace, Rebecca Hudson (Eng)
70 Julie Tvede (Den), Emelie Svenningsson (Swe), Jehanne Jail (Fra)
71 Johanna Westerberg (Swe), Natou Soro (CDI), Marianne Skarpnord (Nor), Morgana Robbertze
72 Hanna-Leena Salonen (Fin), Eleanor Pilgrim (Wal), Amanda Moltke-Leth (Den), Cuyler Hedley (Can), Nora Angehrn (Swi), Mandy Adamson
73 Sophie Walker (Eng), Ashleigh Simon*, Felicity Johnson (Eng), Lisa Jean (Aus), Elin Brask (Swe), Maria Boden (Swe), Vanessa Bell (Eng), Nicole Becker*
74 Bertine Strauss*, Viva Schlasberg (Swe), Elin Ohlsson (Swe), Florence Luscher (Swi), Anne-Sophie Le Nalio (Fra), Martina Gillen (Ire), Kirsty Fisher (Eng), Anna Becker (Swe)
75 Emma Zackrisson (Swe), Lena Tornevall (Swe), Maria Ohlsson (Swe), Edita Nechanicka (Cze), Lizelle Muller*, Laurette Maritz, Zuzana Kamasova (Svk), Sarah Heath (Eng), Michelle de Vries, Antonella Cvitan (Swe), Nuria Clau (Spa)
76 Suzette Venter, Vicki Traut* , Josefin Svenningsson (Swe), Zelda Smook*, Kelli Shean*, Kaisa Ruuttila (Fin), Mercia Pretorius*, Leandri Pieterse, Kelly Hutcherson (Eng), Sohvi Harkonen (Fin), Sarah Faller* (Ire)
77 Tandi von Ruben*, Hanna-Sophia Svenningsson (Swe), Cheryl Smith (Eng), Monja Richards, Madeleine Holmblad (Swe), Nina Hansson (Swe), Sandra Eggermont (Ned), Frederique Dorbes (Fra), Kim Brookes *, Lise Botha
78 Sandra Winter*, Kim Williams*, Michelle Smith (Eng), Monique Smit*, Shelley Mckevitt (Eng), Nora Kagonyera (Uga), Angie Green (Can)
79 Iliska Verwey*, Cecilie Lundgreen, Julie Berton (Fra)
80 Frederique Seeholzer (Swi), Elsabe Hefer, Claire Coughlan (Ire)
81 Caryn Louw, Ashleigh Holmes*, Henriette Frylinck*
82 Lumien Lausberg, Alexandra Hinteregger* , Yushire Budhram*
83 Crizelda van Niekerk, Fabienne Haremza (Ger)
84 Maria de los Angeles Jimenez de Miguel (Spa)
86 Jessica Wycherley* (Sco), Santie Koch
WD Kanna Takanashi (Jpn)
WD Lill Kristin Saether (Nor)
WD Angie Milroy
DNS Patricia Beliard (Fra)
SA unless otherwise noted
* denotes Amateur