Cambridge golfer Chantelle Cassidy who plays out of the Riverside Golf Club, travelled to Morocco last month to play in a rigorous qualifying series of tournaments to obtain her tour playing card for the Ladies’ European Tour 2018.
“The two courses that we played on in Morocco would be up with some of the best and toughest we have here in NZ. The first stage was a pre-qualifying tournament of 90 professional and amateur players, with the top 30 to progress to the final qualifying tournament. I played steady golf finishing 21st to make it to the 2nd stage of qualifying, this also gave me automatic entry into the lower tier Access Series of the Ladies European Tour,” Chantelle said.
“Obtaining a main tour playing card for 2018 was my main priority and I knew I would have to lift my game a little more to achieve this goal.”
The final qualifying tournament had a field of 120 players, made up mainly of 90 plus professional players with the top 60 players getting main tour status and 61 – 70 getting exemption into some minor main tour tournaments.
“I played some good golf in the final qualifying tournament, but it was a 2 hole blow out in my 2nd round which cost me as my total was 2 shots outside the cut line after 4 rounds to finish in 65th position, which was disappointing but that is golf and you have to learn from those mistakes. I came back strongly to finish 3 under for the last 2 rounds, but not quite enough to get me there.” Chantelle added “I desperately wanted to tick the next box, mainly to give me the belief I can mix it with the professional players on the pro circuit and also for the friends who have supported me both through sponsorship and messages back here in the Waikato.”
Chantelle added that the dream of playing on the main tour was not totally lost, as her 65th finishing position has placed her in a category which allows her play in some of the minor tournaments of the main tour.
Chantelle said that although she has a casual / part-time job, professional golf is her primary source of income. So, for me to succeed and live my dream there is going to have to be a lot of hard work with plenty of practice, fitness and mental hardness because although some of it comes naturally it is the extra work you put in gets you to perform on the top stage more consistently. Playing well on the European Tour and getting up the Order of Merit will at a later date will give me exemption to play on the lucrative LPGA tour in the USA…that is my ultimate goal, but I will take things one step at a time.”