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Rising SA stars, Bregman and Strauss head for the US
- Updated: November 29, 2015
While LPGA Tour winner Lee-Anne Pace launches her title defence in the South African Women’s Open at San Lameer Country Club on Sunday, two of South Africa’s brightest prospects will head to the United States to pursue playing privileges for the 2016 LPGA Tour.
Rookie Bertine Strauss won the First Stage Qualifier in August and tied for 28th with Sunshine Ladies Tour champion Stacey Bregman, pictured, at the Second Stage Qualifier in October.
Now the South African hope to cross the final hurdle in the Final Stage Qualifier at the Hill and Jones Courses of the LPGA International in Daytona Beach from 2-6 December.
Bregman hoped to hunt down the SA Women’s Open title this year after a breakthrough season on the Sunshine Ladies Tour that saw her reel in a hat-trick of titles.
‘When I got through the Second Stage Qualifier, I was really fired up, so it was very disappointing to learn that the SA Women’s Open would be played in the same week,’ Bregman said.
‘After winning three times on the Sunshine Ladies Tour and a good season on the Ladies European Tour, I really fancied my chances to win this year. My goal has always been to play in the United States, so I was forced to make a tough decision when the two events collided.
‘I really want to get to the LPGA Tour and I felt I had the game and experience to give the LPGA Tour a shot this year. After getting through the Second Stage Qualifier, I am really fired up to start the Final Stage.’
South Africa’s former number one ranked amateur Strauss graduated from the University of Texas as the golf team’s number one player at the end of July.
She made her pro debut at the US Women’s Open a month later and broke through for her maiden win on the SunCoast Pro Tour in August.
Having won the Jackie Mercer Trophy as the leading amateur in the 2012 SA Women’s Open at Selborne Park, the Koster golfer also had her eye on the big prize.
‘It’s really a great pity that Stacy and I have to miss out this year,’ Strauss said.
‘We will definitely be following the action from San Lameer on the web, though. It’s going to be very exciting to see if Lee-Anne can defend or if one of the new professionals or even an amateur will come through this year.
‘It will also give us a good sense of the competition for when the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies restarts early next year.’
Bregman and Strauss will join a field of 159 players that will be cut to the low 70 players and ties after the first 72 holes.
Only the top 20 finishers will receive cards after the gruelling 90-hole test and, if the South African duo are successful, they will proudly fly the South African flag on the 2016 LPGA Tour alongside Pace, Ashleigh Simon and Paula Reto.
Picture of Bregman courtesy of Justin Klusener