In no tizzy over Izzy

Ian Hutchinson, Special to QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:21 PM ET

With her ever-present smile, you can’t help but hope for the best for Izzy Beisiegel. Anything else seems like bullying, even if it’s bewilderment motivating any perceived criticism of the first woman to gain status on a men’s professional tour.

That title is noteworthy, but some use the word historic, even if it isn’t monumental. Whatever word you use, Beisiegel is non-exempt on the Canadian Tour after spring qualifying a week ago when she shot a third-round 68.

Lost in the hype are the 75-78-75 scores she surrounded it with to finish eight-over and in a tie for ninth. Take gender out of it and that doesn’t amount to the influence of the Liberals on Parliament Hill these days.

At age 32, Beisiegel qualified for a development circuit and, for now, has the media in an Izzy tizzy. She has been called “incredibly grounded,” but grounding is precisely what she’s lacking in a career in which she has displayed talent and fortitude.

In 2003, she was eight-under to finish in a three-way tie for top spot at LPGA Tour Q-school and she came through a brutal battle with Graves Disease that nearly ended her career.

After clearing that hurdle, Beisiegel needs to do the same with her obsession for playing against the guys which she has had since the beginning of her pro career, resulting in several failed attempts at PGA Tour Q-school and U.S. Open qualifying.

She has yet to prove she can even play against the best women in the world. At last year’s LPGA Q-school, Beisiegel tied for 63rd and in four starts on the Futures Tour this year, her best finish is a tie for 13th.

In each case, Beisiegel was only playing against hopefuls, but she remains delusional that she can do what premier players such as Annika Sorenstam and Michelle Wie were unable to accomplish in their ventures on the PGA Tour.

Focus is first required on Beisiegel establishing herself as a legitimate player before taking on the guys. But in trying to leapfrog the next logical step, she’s tripping up instead.

Whatever steps she does take on the Canadian Tour will be aimless at a time when her career should be peaking. If she’s still looking at golf as a career, enhancing her credibility in women’s golf makes more sense than a long-term obsession with becoming the answer to a trivia question.

GILLESPIE’S BACK HOME

One player who won’t be on the Canadian Tour this year is Oshawa’s Derek Gillespie, who was involved with a vehicle rollover near Phoenix in April that left him with a broken right femur, five broken ribs and a collapsed lung.

Gillespie, 32, is back home and taking physiotherapy. Still using a cane, he has an appointment coming up with an orthopedic surgeon.

“There might be some issues with the hip because the break was so far up and by the hip joint, so he’s going to take a look at that,” said Gillespie, adding it could have been far worse.

“The doctor, that’s the first thing he said to me. He’s like: ‘98% of people who are thrown from cars have head trauma or spinal issues,’ and he’s like: ‘You’re one of those 2% and you’re a lucky, lucky boy,” Gillespie said.

The winner of the Big Break Prince Edward Island two years ago played nine events on the Canadian Tour last season and may be ready for PGA Tour qualifying school later this year, but he isn’t pressing.

“I just set a little goal for myself. Maybe, after a full three months, I can start playing, but to be competitive, it’s probably not going to be for awhile,” he said.

“You figure after this experience, golf’s not a huge priority right now, but I’m just glad I will be able to play and hopefully, be 100%,” Gillespie said.


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