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Posted by golfmax - October 31, 2012 at 5:39 am

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Golf Babes: Its the Professional Ladies Golf Ranks for Welsh Curtis Cup Player Rhian Wyn Thomas

One of Wales’s top amateur golfers has turned professional just five and a half years after first picking up a club in a Golf Development Wales scheme at the Royal Welsh Show.

Curtis Cup squad member Rhian Wyn Thomas qualified in the second group at the at the Ladies European Tour school, but has still taken the plunge into the professional ranks – starting at events in France and Australia in the next couple of months, as well as modelling clothes for John Lewis next week.

The Vale of Glamorgan golfer will miss out on the chance to make Welsh golfing history as the Wales Ladies go for a hat-trick of Home International victories at Whitchurch in Cardiff this summer, but found the lure of joining Becky Brewerton and Europe’s other top golfers too much to resist.

“It is a really exciting time,” she admitted. “I have signed all the forms and cannot wait to get started now. My first event on the Ladies European Tour will be in Melbourne at the beginning of March.

“Finishing in the top 30 at Tour School would have made the decision easier, but the ranking I did get will still get me into a few events – some of the girls with the equivalent ranking last year played about seven tournaments so that will give me a chance.”

The decision comes at the end of a successful year for Thomas. Apart from being a key player in Wales success, she was also the second top scorer for Great Britain and Ireland in the Vagliano Trophy against continental Europe.

She was in the top 50 at the S4C Wales Championships of Europe and would have earned a four figure sum there, but for her amateur status.

She reached the quarter-finals of the Ladies Amateur Championship as well as tasting the highest possible level as a reserve for the Ricoh British Open, after only trying her hand at golf through a chance encounter.

As a good hockey player she was happy to give golf a go in a net at the Royal Welsh Show, her talent was spotted straightaway and she began her rapid progress through the ranks.

“I definitely could not have imagined this when I first tried hitting a ball in the net at the Royal Welsh, not at all,” she laughed.

“I will be starting as a professional in France on the LET Access Series, so there is a way of earning your card on the main Tour through that as well.

“I could have stayed amateur, but this is what I want to do and I spoke to a lot of people about the decision. Nigel Edwards at the Golf Union for Wales was very helpful.

“Now it is a question of looking for sponsors before starting to play more over the next couple of months.”

The process starts next week with a photo-shoot through Ken Picton Hairdressers, wearing John Lewis clothes with Clogau Gold Ryder Cup edition bracelets and necklaces, as well as with golf equipment from Welsh firm Asbri who are helping to back Thomas. She is also being supported by the Vale of Glamorgan Hotel and Resort.

The Ladies European Tour has lacked a second tier in the past, the equivalent of the Challenge Tour which helped Welsh pro Rhys Davies into the top European ranks this season.

However the LET Access Series has been launched this year with a minimum of three events to help bridge the gap for players such as Thomas. That has encouraged her to make the decision now rather than aiming for this summer’s Curtis Cup team.

“It really helps to create good global citizens by communicating directly and asking questions, it does help give them an understanding of world issues because they are helping to teach the same sport to children in China through the technological age.”

Bong and the teachers in China were delighted to watch the session at first hand and being able to ask questions about how it had been run.

“We had a good idea after looking at some videos but what we did not know is how everything fits together. That was the biggest challenge for us,” said Bong through the video link.

“We did not know how you position it, how the atmosphere should be. You had the spirit of golf down to a tee, it should be fun with mutual respect and that came across very, very strongly which was great.

“There are two big brands of golf to encourage early learning, TriGolf and Snag Golf which is really a USA thing. We went with Tri-Golf and a big reason was that you are doing it there in Wales.”

After doing her bit for Far East golf, Pritchard can now concentrate on events closer to home in Europe.

After a season on the Ladies European Tour she is determined to taste more top level golf next season.

“I have to go back to qualifying school unfortunately, but I am lucky that I can also play in PGA events so I have six weeks to work hard on the game and hopefully get back on tour next year,” said the 27-year-old.

“I have just one event left this season so basically it is about spending some time at home to practice, work on my game and plan the next few weeks in every detail to give myself the best chance in qualifying school.”

After teaching golf to China from a Cwmbran classroom, even the European Tour events may seem a bit mundane in comparison. All Rights Reserved. ()

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Posted by golfmax - July 19, 2012 at 4:12 am

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Davies sets Solheim Record

Europe’s English veteran Laura Davies has overtaken Annika Sorenstam to become the all-time Solheim Cup record points scorer.
Davies achieved the new mark teamed with compatriot Melissa Reid in Saturday afternoon’s four ball matches when they beat the American pairing of Brittany Lang and Michelle Wie 4 & 3 at Killeen Castle in Ireland
It was Davies’s 12th Solheim Cup, the four-time major winner victory with Reid took her total number of points earned in her 45 matches played so far to 24 from her 22 wins, 18 losses and five halved matches.
Before she retired last year to concentrate on her businesses and have a family, Sorenstam won 24 points in 37 matches in eight Solheim Cup events.
Juli Inkster is the record points earner for the United States with 18.( Callaway Lady’s X-22 Irons)
“It’s nice to finally get past Annika, who obviously has a spectacular record,” Davies said afterwards.
The win by Davies and Reid gave Europe an 8-5 lead after the home team had taken a 2 point lead over the USA into lunch following their 2-1 victory in the second morning’s Solheim Cup foursomes on Saturday morning.
It was to be their last win on Saturday.
The USA hit back after lunch to take the next three matches, win the afternoon fourballs and dramatically swing the running score back to 8-all as the Cup heads into Sunday’s final round of singles matches.( Callaway Lady’s X-22 Irons)
The hitherto unbeaten Swedish rookie Caroline Headwall and Norwegian World No 2 Suzann Pettersen were narrowly beaten 1-up by leading American Cristie Kerr and Morgan Pressel.
The inexperience rookies Sandra Gal of Germany and Christel Boeljon of the Netherlands were edged out 2 & 1 by the fast-rising US star Stacy Lewis and the LPGA rookie Ryann O’Toole and Swedish veteran and Spain’s inmexperienced rooki Azahara Munoz were beaten 3 & 1 by America star Paul Creamer and Brittany Lincicome.
The day had started in spectacular style for the Europeans as the Swedish duo of Caroline Hedwall and Sophie Gustafson chalked up a thumping 6&5 victory over Stacy Lewis and Angela Stanford.( Callaway Lady’s X-22 Irons)
The Swedes blitzed their opponents with a barrage of birdies, a run of four in five holes from the sixth to tenth opening a lead that never looked like being closed.
Morgan Pressl and Ryann O’Toole defeated Christel Boeljon and Karen Stupples 3&2 to get the first American point of the day on the board in match two, but Europe responded as Anna Nordqvist and Maria Hjorth saw off Brittany Lang and Juli Inkster by the same score.
The final clash proved to be a thrilling see-saw encounter which swung both ways before Azahara Munoz holed a nervy three-footer on the final green to ensure she and Catriona Matthew won the last hole by Callaway Lady’s X-22 Irons to pinch a half point against Paula Creamer and Cristie Kerr.
That left Europe with a 7-5 lead and Davies and Melissa Reid quickly went about extending it further.

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Posted by golfmax - September 26, 2011 at 5:07 am

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