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30th March 2014 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Bregman romps to Zambian victory

2014ZLO_StacyBregman_Trophy1SLTSouth Africa’s Stacy Bregman was simply sublime from tee to green as she steered her way to a runaway victory in the inaugural Zambia Ladies Open Championship at Ndola Golf Club on Sunday.


The Ladies European Tour campaigner delighted the local fans with a master class in accuracy and course management, putting together a two-under-par 71 to break a six year winning drought with winning score of eight-under-par  211.


Kim Williams closed with a 74 to finish eight stroke back in second alongside Monique Smit, who fired a third successive 73.


Bregman was all business as the stalked the 5,955 meter layout for 54 holes. However, once the final putt dropped to seal her victory, Bregman beamed a broad smile at the cheering crowds that revealed exactly what the victory meant to the 27-year-old from Johannesburg.


“This is so much more than just another victory for me,” an emotional Bregman said. “This week has been a real breakthrough. I have struggled with patience for so long, and I finally conquered that demon. It feels like I have knocked two monkeys of my back.


2014ZLO_StacyBregman_SLT“I’m am so thrilled with this win and to the first Zambia Ladies Open Championship trophy.”


Bregman began with a two shot lead over Nobuhle Dlamini after earlier rounds of 71 and 69.


The Swazi golfer mounted a spirited challenge on the front nine, and lagged just a shot behind when Bregman took the turn at five under.


The champion’s newfound patience won the day, though.


“In the first round, I dropped four shots on the front nine but rallied with six birdies over the back nine, and in the second round, I also made my birdies on the back nine,” she said.


“I knew I had to bide my time. I managed myself well on the front nine to drop just the one shot at the fifth. The last nine holes has definitely been kinder to me and I knew I could score on the home stretch. I just had to bide my time.”


Dlamini dropped at the 10th and 13th, while Bregman reeled in birdies and reached eight under when she knocked a 10-footer in for birdie at the par-four 15thShe dropped again at 15, but although she was out of the running, Bregman still felt pressure coming down the stretch.


“As the highest ranked player in the field, I was under pressure to win and I guess I carried that around all week,” she admitted. “I didn’t want to start making mistakes with three holes to go, so I just willed myself to settle and stay patient. It was a real life lesson out there.”


Bregman parred the last three holes and Williams moved to joint second when she parred against a bogey from Dlamini at the final hole. The Swazi golfer finished fourth on one over 220 with a 78.


2014ZLO_StacyBregman_DunkedSLTThe champion was thrilled that she eventually made the trip to Zambia.


“I played so much golf in the first three months of this season, that I really just wanted a break,” Bregman said. “But I decided to come and support the Sunshine Ladies Tour and Murphy’s Law, I win.


“I have a lot of people to thank for this, because my team has been amazing with their support. I dedicate this to my family, my coach Neville Sundelson, my trainer Ian Corbett at the World of Golf, the Gary Player guys at the World of Golf, my mentor Helen Alfredsson and sport psychologist Maretha Claasen, whom I started working with a while ago.


“I would like thank the Zambia Ladies Golf Union for hosting their first professional women’s golf tournament and I am very proud to be their first champion. I hope the young golfers will learn from me and that they will keep on practicing and never, ever give up.”


PHOTOS – Zambia Ladies Open Championship winner, Stacy Bregman; credit WGSA