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18th February 2016 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Bregman ready to play it again

Ladies Chase to Investec Cup: Day 1A recharged Stacy Bregman feels it is time to perform again and where better than at the Sunshine Ladies Tour Dimension Data Challenge in George, where she shared the centre stage with Dimension Data Pro-Am winner, Branden Grace, 12 months ago.

In the span of two months early in 2015, Bregman reeled in a hat-trick of victories to boost her tally on the local circuit to four, but the 29-year-old Johannesburg pro has battled to convert four credible performances this season into a podium finish.

“I worked on a number of things in the off-season, and I have been trying these changes out to see what best suits me,” Bregman said.

“The downside of putting a ‘work in progress’ under the pressure of tournament conditions is that you make some mistakes. A couple of loose shots really cost me, like at the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies at Houghton, where I had a chance to win.

“On the positive side, I’ve tied for second, had two joint fourth and a joint seventh place finish this season. Overall, I’m pleased with the record and I feel that some aspects of my game are even better now than when I was collecting trophies last year.

“Some things, though, still needs some polishing, but the end goal has always been to make the top 10 at the end of the season to qualify for Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies at Millvale Private Retreat. If I can do that without visiting the winner’s circle, that’s good enough for me.”

The third Sunshine Ladies Tour Dimension Data Challenge tees off at George Golf Club on Friday with a record purse of R350 000, plus R100 000 up for grabs for the leading 10 pros in the Pro-Am Betterball competition.

The second round will be contested at Kingswood and the final round at Fancourt’s Outeniqua course.

Bregman is keen to start her title defence after practice rounds at all three venues.

“Last year we played only 36 holes and our opening round at Oubaai was marred by torrential rain and a gale force wind,” Bregman said. “Luckily I was able to turn things around in the final round at Outeniqua to beat Melissa Eaton by one stroke.

“This year our championship is played over three rounds at three very different courses and I think that is going to throw the title chase wide open. It’s a tough call to play brilliantly on all three courses and I think it’s going to be a tight race to the finish line at Outeniqua on Sunday.”

Bregman believes she can lay a good foundation at George Golf Club.

“George is one of those traditional tree-lined courses and a ball-striker’s dream,” Bregman said.

“That type of course always suits my game and I really enjoyed the look and feel of the George course. Outeniqua is quite similar. I like tight courses that demand accuracy and I believe I can score well on these two courses.

“Kingswood is more links-style and open. I generally do well on links courses, but it does test your shot-making credentials and your patience and a lot will depend on the conditions. The greens on all three courses are very different and that’s why I don’t believe one person will dominate this year’s tournament. It’s going to be a bunfight to the end.”

Bregman will start the first round at 09h05 alongside Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies leader and two-time winner this season, Lee-Anne Pace, who is gunning for a ninth consecutive Sunshine Ladies Tour title.

African duo Nobuhle Dlamini from Swaziland and Namibia’s Bonita Bredenhann will launch their title charge at 08h35, while rookie Lejan Lewthwaite will have 2014 Sunshine Ladies Tour Dimension Data Challenge winner Monique Smit for company at 08h45.

Fellow rookie and fifth ranked Carrie Park will join Rebecca Hudson from England, who won the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies at Houghton, at 08h55. Last year’s runner-up Eaton and former Sunshine Ladies Tour winner Kim Williams follow Bregman and Pace take to the course at 09h20.

Ivanna Samu, who led the amateur field in her last four starts, will miss this week’s action to compete in the Border Championship.

That leaves the door open for reigning Nomads SA Rose Bowl champion Chiara Contomathios to shorten the gap on Samu, but the 16-year-old Gauteng player could have her job cut out to stave off the challenges of local stars Anye Verster and former SA Mid-Amateur Stroke Play champion Sonja Bland in their own back yard.

PHOTO – Stacy Bregman

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