Zuzana Kamasova from Slovakia will take her place in one of the marquee groups alongside defending champion Melissa Reid and Sophie Gustafson in the first two rounds of the Turkish Airlines Ladies Open this week.
The LET’s first ever winner from Eastern Europe will be able to bask in the glory of her maiden victory at last month’s Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco.
Having started the year with no card for the 2011 Ladies European Tour season, her career has taken off. With her win so early in the season, she has effectively earned a three year exemption to the LET, with Ladies European Tour ranking tournament winners eligible for a two year exemption, plus another for the year of a victory.
She is now able to schedule her playing appearances ahead of time and has earned a place in the LET’s most richest and most prestigious events, including the Evian Masters presented by Societe Generale in France.
It really was a dream come true for Kamasova and reflecting on her surprise victory, she commented: “It has changed all of my plans for 2011. I didn´t have a full card, so I would probably get into three or four events total so therefore my original plans were to focus on my PGA course, as well as the Slovak national team where I am the assistant coach and also another junior project: ‘The Tour of Olympic Hopes’ which is designed for kids 14 and younger. Now, I will gladly focus on my golf first and the rest second.”
Teeing up at National Golf Club in Belek, Antalya, for the second time, she added: “I am really happy to be playing in Turkey once again. I have played here in 2008 and really enjoyed the challenging golf course. I have been back several times with kids’ camps with the Slovak national team. It is a challenging course which is tighter and the greens can get tricky!”
The 32-year-old from Bratislava said that she will try to keep the same mental approach that she had in Morocco. “I am enjoying playing and I think it shows. I keep it simple and I take the tough brakes on the course as a new challenge.
“I am not seeking perfection anymore but rather take it as it comes. I would love to have as much fun on the golf course and play as well as in Morocco every time I tee it up.”
As for her own status in the game, Kamasova revealed that she has received massive recognition in the national media for her victory back home in Slovakia and said: “Too much for sure! It has been overwhelming but a little too crazy at times. The funny thing is that it has not been just sports media that were interested to hear all about my win.”
Kamasova was even more delighted because she believes that the Ladies European Tour is getting stronger every year and will grow even more with the emergence of young players such as Klara Spilkova, the 16-year-old sensation from the neighbouring Czech Republic.
“The LET´s level of play has been getting better year by year. The competition is better, there are more players from a wider range of different countries and the schedule is getting worldwide, which I like. It has been constantly improving which is great! It’s nice to see the new generation coming up,” she said.
With the Ladies Slovak Open taking place at her home course Gray Bear in Slovakia from May 26-29 and then the Prague Golf Masters in September, these are exciting times for East European women’s golf and especially for Kamasova.