Laetitia Beck hitting a shot during the Annika Invitational in Florida, 2010. Photo by Tracy Wilcox/GOLFWEEK
Laetitia Beck hitting a shot during the Annika Invitational in Florida, 2010. Photo by Tracy Wilcox/GOLFWEEK

When ISRAEL21c interviewed champion golfer Laetitia Beck for a feature story a couple of months ago, she was nervously anticipating the third and final qualifier toward earning her LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association) Tour Card. No Israeli has ever won either the LPGA or PGA (Professional Golf Association) ticket to the world’s major pro golf tournaments.

On December 7, Beck became the first Israeli LPGA Tour Card holder following her victory in a sudden-death finish in the qualifier at Daytona Beach, Florida.

The card enables her to compete in the LPGA’s 33 tournaments planned for 2015 in more than a dozen countries. The first is scheduled for the end of January, shortly before Beck’s 23rd birthday.

Her golfing star began to rise when she won the Israeli Open Golf Championship at age 12, and she won that title four more times before moving from her family’s home in Caesarea for serious training in Florida. She won golfing gold medals in the 2009 and 2013 Maccabiah Games and was voted Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Year in 2011 as a member of the Duke University (North Carolina) Blue Devils.

That year, she qualified for her first LPGA event, the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open – marking the first time an Israeli played in an LPGA tourney. In 2013, Golf World cited her as one of the top 50 golfers to watch.

Beck says she is extremely focused. “If you ask me to play a sport, then I’ll get a smile on my face. I’m very athletic and very competitive.”

She hopes to represent Israel at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Summer Olympics.