Soggy conditions plus a late bogey did not stop Beatriz Recari of Spain from winning last Sunday’s CVS/pharmacy LPGA Challenge. Recari’s victory over Gwladys Nocera of France gave the 23-year old her first LPGA Tour title.
No other Spaniard won in the LPGA since the 1994 Cup Noodles Hawaiian Ladies Open which was won by Marta Figueros-Dotti.
Not surprising though, since she was born and raised in a city famous for running the bulls. “Absolutely not,” was her quick reply when asked if she has tried it. “Absolutely not. You know, everyone asks me that, but I always say I’ve seen it enough times to realize that it’s more dangerous than what people think. I watched it many times behind the fence, but that’s about it.”
The tour rookie experienced a 14-month drought prior to this win, considering that her last victory in the profesional league, was still in August 2009 during the Finnair Masters’ Ladies European Tour. Winning the playoff came after she blew a five-sroke lead during the game’s final day.
Recari got a bogey on the No. 17 but rebounded with a part on the 18th for a Blackhawk Country Club course total of 2-under 70 and a 14-under 274. She birdied the final hole for a 70.
Her 165,000 first-place prize nearly tripled Recari’s total career winnings. Her victory was however not painless. In fact, the game was not easy for everyone, including South Korean rookie Ilhee Lee who missed seven straight cuts this year, prompting her to nearly quit the tour.
Recari’s dad Jose Luis got her into golf early. And when she accepted her head pro’s offer for a Spanish Championships whebn she was still an 11-year old beginner, there was no turning back for her.
“I had this feeling,” she recalled her post-round thoughts. “I took my dad to the car, I was like I said, ‘Dad, I really want to do this serious.’ I said, ‘Would you support me? Would you help me?’ He said, ‘Yeah, of course.’ I live in the north and the winters are cold, so he said, ‘If the Sundays are cold and it’s minus whatever, we’re still practicing.’ I said, ‘I get it.’ And since then it’s been a very interesting journey.”