Four-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner Stacy Bregman is ready to battle her way back to the top in this week’s Investec Cup for Ladies. Bregman heads a strong field that includes defending champion Lee-Anne Pace, points leader Melissa Eaton and Sunshine Ladies Tour winners Nicole Garcia, Kim Williams and Monique Smit. Back from the HSBC Ladies Champions in China, Bregman said the last two months has vindicated her decision to launch her 2015 season on home soil: ‘Last year I started my season on the Ladies European Tour in Australasia. ‘I tied for third in the Volvik RACV Ladies Masters and had some good results on the ALPG Tour, but the decision cost me a spot for the Investec Cup for Ladies. I was 11th in the rankings, but only the top 10 qualify. It was a big blow, but it came down to the fact that I didn’t play enough events. When Investec added the R600 000 bonus pool to this year’s Investec Cup for Ladies, it was a no-brainer. With that kind of incentive, you just have to compete.’
And this time, Bregman made triple sure of a spot in the limited field event. The reigning Zambia Ladies Open champion sparked a winning run in the Sun International Ladies Challenge, and followed with podium finishes in the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am and Cape Town Ladies Open. A tie for seventh in the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies and 19th in the Sunshine Ladies Tour Open lifted Bregman to the number one spot in points standings, but she surrendered the lead when she missed the last two tournaments.
Bregman, who will star the season-finale in the number two spot in the standings said: ‘I had to make a tough decision. Getting into the Majors this year is a big priority for me. I was safe in the standings, so I forfeited the last two events to travel to China and compete on the Ladies European Tour. I wanted to get my foot in the door on the LET Order of Merit, but that plan went pretty much south. I played really well in the practice rounds, but couldn’t produce in the tournament and missed the cut. I feel like I made a lot of right decisions and did a lot of things very well. I don’t live and die by the results, so it doesn’t make any difference really. I’m not dwelling on last week whatsoever. I’m very happy with where my game is and I want to continue in the same vein this week. It’s the way it goes. Sometimes you win just after missing a cut; maybe it will be one of those weeks for me.’ Bregman is relishing a return to the Lost City Golf Course at Sun City this weekend. She said: ‘Playing the Sunshine Ladies Tour gave me a chance to get my game into good shape early in the season and it was fantastic to start with a victory at the Lost City. Who knows, if I holed a few more putts, I could have won more, but I’m happy enough with my progress. The form is there and I feel good enough to win.’
She is focussing on the positives and hopes to maintain her fine form at the Gary Player-designed layout at Lost City on the weekend. First, though, she has to get through the opening round at the Millvale Private Retreat. Bregman had her first look at the course in the practice round on Wednesday and will play another 18 holes on Thursday to get really comfortable with the layout.
Bregman said: ‘I was a little apprehensive, because I hadn’t played Millvale before. I love the course, though. It’s a real ball-strikers course and nice and long. The wind was up on Wednesday, which made it a bit trickier. The course is in pristine condition and the greens run fast and true. It’s going to be a great challenge and I’m rearing to get going already.’ The balance of the field challenging in the R100 000 purse and the R250 000 winner’s share of the R600 000 bonus pool include Namibia’s Bonita Bredenhann, Lucy Williams from England, Swaziland’s Nobuhle Dlamini and Sunshine Ladies Tour rookie Monja Richards from Nelspruit.
Photo: Four-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner Stacy Bregman
Photo credit: Catherine Kotze / SASPA.