Newly-announced New Star sponsored golfer, South Africa’s Stacy Lee Bregman has already begun rewarding her commercial backer despite inclement weather, by finishing well for the first day’s play in the English Open, in Chart Hills.
But the wind and light showers at the English Open didn’t discourage the 20-year-old, who was making her debut appearance at Chart Hills. She carded an opening round score of 72 at the English even, but admitted that things could have been slightly better for her.
“I started well, I was two-under after three and I thought ‘Gees, I’m going to have a good round’,” she beamed. “I’m happy, though. Level par you’ll never say no to – I just made a couple of stupid mistakes.”
It is these mistakes that Stacy hopes will disappear from her game as she grows in experience and confidence. “The senior girls on the tour have been great, they are really good girls,” she said.
“They have told me to hang in there and be patient. I am only 20 years old, I’ve still got a bright future ahead of me so it’s great playing on tour for the first year.”
Although it is her first season as a pro on the Tour, the Johannesburg-born karate enthusiast says she has been preparing for it since she started playing golf five years ago.
“Your first year as a pro is like the first week at high school – you experience lots of different things,” she said. “As an amateur you’re built up to becoming a professional. Just to qualify for your card and to have full playing privileges on the Tour is a start.
“It’s the start of your career and it is very exciting.” A promising start to her first pro tour has fuelled her ambition to compete at the highest level.
“At the moment I want to work my way up on the tour, it’s a really strong tour,” she said. “But I also want to be playing in America hopefully – and dominating it one day.”
Meanwhile, early tournament leader Swedish Linda Wessberg fired a bogey-free six-under-par 66 to take a one stroke lead after the first round of the Ladies English Open, in association with Golf Punk, at Chart Hills Golf Club in Kent.
The 27-year-old from Gothenburg carded six birdies, with three on the front nine and three on the back nine to lead by one over Wales’ Becky Brewerton and defending champion Cecilia Ekelundh of Sweden.
Wessberg, who collected her second LET title at the Vediorbis Open de France Dames a fortnight ago, gave herself a strong chance of becoming the third Swedish winner of the event in the last four years, after Maria Hjorth won back-to-back titles in 2004 and 2005 and then Ekelundh won in 2006.
“I would say I’m playing some of my best golf. I’ve been working hard in the States,” said Wessberg, currently ranked ninth in Europe. I went over there straight after Australia, so I had a lot of good rounds on great courses and different grasses, so hopefully it will pay off,” said Wessberg.
“I hit a lot of greens and I made a lot of putts as well. I hit 16 greens and I just missed the 16th and 17th but made up and downs on those. I was hitting my irons really well.”
Also involved from a South African perspective were Laurette Maritz, finishing two shots down for a first-round two-over par 74, and Lee-Anne Pace, unfortunate to finish with a single birdie countering four bogies, and a double.
English Open Scores after Round One:
66 – Linda Wessberg (SWE)
67 – Becky Brewerton (WAL), Cecilia Ekelundh (SWE)
68 – Martina Eberl (GER), Lora Fairclough (ENG)
69 – Laura Davies (ENG)
70 – Marina Arruti (ESP), Gwladys Nocera (FRA), Kirsty Taylor (ENG), Melissa Reid (Am) (ENG)
71 – Karen Stupples (ENG), Danielle Masters (ENG), Virginie Lagoutte-Clement (FRA), Johanna Westerberg (SWE), Lill Kristin Saether (NOR), Louise Stahle (SWE), Isabella Maconi (ITA)
72 – Stacy Lee Bregman (SA), Maria Hjorth (SWE), Trish Johnson (ENG), Minea Blomqvist (FIN), Karen Lunn (AUS), Ursula Wikstrom (FIN), Emma Zackrisson (SWE), Lisa Jean (AUS), Sophie Sandolo (ITA), Denise Simon (GER), Joanne Oliver (ENG)
73 – Anna Tybring (SWE), Claire Coughlan (IRE), Leah Hart (AUS), Stephanie Arricau (FRA), Clare Queen (SCO), Caroline Grady (ENG), Eleanor Pilgrim (WAL), Rebecca Coakley (IRE), Jehanne Jail (FRA), Shelley McKevitt (ENG), Maria Boden (SWE), Rebecca Hudson (ENG), Samantha Head (ENG), Fany Schaeffer (FRA), Carmen Alonso (ESP)
74 – Eva Steinberger (AUT), Suzanne Dickens (ENG), Anja Monke (GER), Federica Piovano (ITA), Veronica Zorzi (ITA), Helena Alterby (SWE), Sara Beautell (ESP), Cecilie Lundgreen (NOR), Laurette Maritz (SA), Mianne Bagger (DEN), Diana Luna (ITA), Tania Elosegui (ESP), Laura Cabanillas (ESP), Georgina Simpson (ENG), Stephanie Evans (Am) (WAL)
75 – Melodie Bourdy (FRA), Tullia Calzavara (ITA), Elisabeth Esterl (GER), Kirsty S Taylor (ENG), Corinne Dibnah (AUS), Lynn Brooky (NZ), Lisa Holm Sorensen (DEN), Ludivine Kreutz (FRA), Ellen Smets (BEL), Anne-Lise Caudal (FRA), Naomi Edwards (Am) (ENG), Kathryn Imrie (SCO), Titiya Plucksataporn (THA), Nicole Gergely (AUT), Christine Hallstrom (SWE)
76 – Lara Tadiotto (BEL), Rui Yokomine (JPN), Iben Tinning (DEN), Laura Terebey (USA), Natalie Claire Booth (ENG), Ana Larraneta (ESP), Anna Rawson (AUS), Karen-Margrethe Juul (DEN), Kiran Matharu (ENG), Anna Rossi (ITA), Lynn Kenny (SCO), Liza Walters (ENG)
77 – Nina Karlsson (SWE), Lee-Anne Pace (SA), Elisa Serramia (ESP), Sofia Renell (SWE), Lisa Hall (ENG), Felicity Johnson (ENG), Margherita Rigon (ITA), Libby Smith (USA), Fame More (ENG), Antonella Cvitan (SWE), Anna Temple (USA)
78 – Martina Gillen (IRE), Sophie Walker (ENG), Frederique Seeholzer (SWI), Stefanie Michl (AUT), Mette Buus (DEN), Jenni Kuosa (FIN)
79 – Elin Ohlsson (SWE), Cassandra Kirkland (FRA), Lotta Wahlin (SWE), Sarah Heath (ENG), Anna Knutsson (SWE), Joanne Mills (AUS), Nienke Nijenhuis (NL), Danielle Montgomery (Am) (ENG)
80 – Maria Beautell (ESP), Cherie Byrnes (AUS), Barbara Paruscio (ITA), Rachel Adby (ENG)
81 – Maria Verchenova (RUS), Sarah Tyson (Am) (ENG), Jo Clingan (ENG), Jade Schaeffer (FRA), Nora Angehrn (SWI)
82 – Rikke Rasmussen (DEN)
83 – Wendy Dicks (ENG), Nathalie David-Mila (FRA), Elizabeth McKinnon (NZ)
84 – Sophie Hunter (ENG)
86 – Carlie Butler (AUS)
91 – Sophie Stubbs (Am) (ENG)