Beck earns place on pro golf tour


Laetitia Beck admits she is still pinching herself after becoming the first Israeli to earn the right to play on the professional tour.

Beck, 22, held her nerve to claim one of the 20 places available on the LPGA 2015 tournament circuit in the most dramatic fashion. She finished tied for 18th place with six other players at the 90-hole Daytona Beach qualifying tournament in Florida.

She then progressed after a three-hole playoff and cemented her spot with a birdie on the sudden-death hole to earn her place on the circuit.

Having graduated from Duke University in America earlier in the year, Beck is now preparing for the her first season as a pro, where players compete for prize money worth more than $60 million in 33 tournaments across 15 countries.

"It's like being the first Israeli in the NBA,” said Beck. “I really didn’t expect this to be honest.

"Going into the tournament I hadn’t been hitting the ball well and my putting was off. I didn’t think I’d be good enough, but I was wrong.”

"I was very focused throughout the tournament and didn’t let the pressure get to me. I didn’t expect to be so successful. It hasn’t sunk in yet, but I’m really excited.”

Born in Belgium, Beck immigrated to Israel with her parents when she was six and by 12 she was the Israel Ladies champion.

She has been studying in the US since she was 14 and has been aiming to become a professional golfer since qualifying for the British Open in the summer.

Beck said: "The challenge now is to make this pay and at least cover my expenses.

"Until now I’ve relied on financial support from the Israel Golf Federation. But with an LPGA tour card it should be easier to find sponsors and hopefully I can start winning some prize money.”

She says she is proud to play for Israel and hopes to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics where golf will be reintroduced as an Olympic sport for the first time since 1904.

Beck said: "My main goal is to represent my county. I’m sure that my family and friends in Israel are excited too, so I’m happy for me and I’m happy for them."

Israel Golf Federation chairman Noam Schultz said: "This is a massive achievement that makes Laetitia Beck one of Israel’s top sports stars."

She will embark on her professional career next month at the $1.5 million Coates Championship in Ocala, Florida, starting on January 26.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive