Israeli golfer Laetitia Beck made history on Monday when she qualified for the British Open, one of golf’s five majors.
The 22-year-old recorded a four-under-par 70 at the Royal Birkdale Golf Club at Southport & Ainsdale, ending the British Open’s final qualifying round tied for fifth place, the highest ranked amateur.
Beck, who graduated from Duke University earlier this year, will turn professional following her recent success.
Beck was one of eight amateurs who qualified through Pre-Qualifying over the Blue course at The Berkshire.
The Pre-Qualifying event was won by Welsh former Solheim Cup player, Becky Brewerton, with Beck the leading qualifier at last week’s Ladies British Open Amateur Championship. The Israeli, who helped lead Duke to their sixth national championship this year, won the stroke play qualifying round at the 2014 Ladies British Open Amateur by carding rounds of 71 and 70, totaling seven-under par. In the first round of match play, Beck lost, but she nevertheless advanced to the final qualifier for the British Open, which she finished in fifth place on Monday.
The British Open will begin on Thursday and run through Sunday.
The world’s top women golfers will take part in the event, including Michelle Wie, who finally lived up to the burden of expectation when she won her first major title with a clutch two-stroke victory at the US Women’s Open two weeks ago.
Beck is currently ranked No. 20 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking and is hoping to represent Israel at the Rio 2016 Olympics when golf makes its return to the Olympic Games.
Beck was born in Antwerp, Belgium, with her family moving to Israel when she was six years old. She already won the Israeli Ladies Championships at the age of 12 and attended the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida in order to further her golf career.
She qualified for her first LPGA Tour event in August 2011, participating as an amateur in the Canadian Women’s Open in Montreal.