(photo credit: REUTERS)
Laetitia Beck became the first Israeli to play in one of golf’s majors on Thursday, ending the first day of the British Open at the Royal Birkdale Golf Club at Southport & Ainsdale tied for 98th position at press time after carding a six-over-par 78 in the first round.
The 22-year-old bogeyed the first hole, but bounced back with five straight pars before also bogeying the seventh hole.
She recorded her first birdie on the eighth but registered another bogey on the next hole to finish the front nine at two-over-par.
She got the back nine off to an encouraging start with a birdie on the 10th, only to bogey the next two holes.
Beck seemed to steady the ship with three consecutive pars, but suffered a bitterly disappointing ending to her first ever round in a major when she triple- bogeyed the 18th to finish the day at six-over-par.
Beck, who graduated from Duke University earlier this year, decided to turn professional after qualifying for the British Open on Monday. She registered a four-under-par 70 at the Royal Birkdale Golf Club to finish the final qualifying round tied for fifth place.
Beck, who also had to come through a pre-qualifying event, was born in Antwerp, Belgium, before moving to Israel with her family when she was six years old.
She 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. Beck qualified for her first LPGA Tour event in August 2011, and is hoping to represent Israel at the Rio 2016 Olympics when golf makes its return to the Olympic Games.