Thursday, June 15, 2006



Hilton Park's Gemma Webster was the first Scot to go out when the match-play stages of the Ladies British open amateur championship began at Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle in Northern Ireland this morning.
Gemma was beaten 2 and 1 by former Irish champion Martina Gillen (Beaverstown).
Roseanne Niven (Crieff) was two down after nine holes to Maria Hernandez (Spain).
Krystle Caithness (St Regulus) was one up after nine on Melissa Reid (Chevin), winner of the Helen Holm Scottish open stroke-play at Troon in April.
Leading qualifier Azahara Munoz from Spain was sensationally defeated in the first round.
The top seed was beaten 2 and 1 by the last of the 64 qualifiers, Stacy Bregman (South Africa) who came through an 8.30pm play-off last night when eight players on 158 went into sudden-death play to decide which six would go through.
Munoz scored 16 shots better than the South African in the 36-hole stroke-play test but that counted for nothing once they crossed swords in match-play.
"I had two or three bad holes in the stroke play which knocked by scores back but you can get away with that in match-play," said the 19-year-old Bregman from Johannesburg.
Stacy, who is not going to college and plans to turn professional possibly at the end of the year, is on South Africa's short leet of six for the Espirito Santo Trophy women's world amateur team championship - to be played at Stellenbosch Golf Club, Cape Town later this year.
"No, I wasn't in awe of Azahara at all, even though she's got a great record. She's only human and I knew that if I played well I could beat her. And I did," said Stacy.
Bregman did not take up golf until she was 14 and has been playing competitively for only three years.
She had six birdies and two bogeys for the 17 holes against her Spanish opponent.
Stacy won the third, sixth and ninth with birdies to be three up at the turn, Munoz failing to win a hole until the 10th.
The 12th was halved in birdies before the South African birdied another long hole, the 13th to go three up again. The 15th in a qualify match was halved in birdies and two more halves sealed a notable win for Stacy.
English champion Kiran Matharu (Cookridge Hall) was beaten 2 and 1 by Dewi-Claire Schreefel from the Netherlands. Dewi-Claire, a student at the University of Southern California, recently won the NCAA Division 1 women's championship.
Kiran fell three down on the outward nine holes and could not pull back the deficit on the inward holes.
Schreefel's victory put her through to a second-round tie against Sophie Walker (Kenwick Park). Sophie won by 4 and 3 against Stephanie Evans (Vale of Llangollen), the left-handed Welsh champion.