Laetitia Beck .
(photo credit: MARK SIMS)
Israeli golfer Laetitia Beck took a significant step towards qualifying for the Rio Olympics on Wednesday, rising to No. 44 in the Olympic rankings after finishing tied for 27th in the Kia Classic in Southern California earlier this week.
It was Beck’s best result this season and just the second time she has made the cut in five LPGA events in 2016.
Beck secured her tour card for a second straight year after going through five days of qualifying in Daytona Beach, Florida, last December, finishing in the top 20 of LPGA Stage III Qualifying to earn her membership through Category 12 on the priority list for the 2016 season.
The 24-year-old, who rose 57 places to No. 266 in the world rankings, needs to be placed among the top 59 in the Olympic rankings on July 11 in order to qualify for Rio.
Golf will be played at the Olympics for the first time since the 1904 Summer Games, with a total of 60 players qualifying in each of the men’s and women’s events. The top 15 players of each gender will qualify, with a limit of four golfers per country.
The remaining spots will be handed out according to the highest-ranked players from countries that do not already have two golfers qualified.
“My achievement this past weekend moved me significantly closer to realizing my Olympic dream,” said Beck, who shot 68 in the final round on Sunday for a 4-under-par 284 total on the Aviara course in Carlsbad.
“I know that only something extraordinary, or an injury, can prevent me from playing in Rio. I’m fully focused on doing my best and I’m happy to represent Israel. For me, nothing would be more exciting than being part of the Israeli Olympic delegation, especially as I’m far from the country, my friends and family throughout the year.”