No one can take historic feat away from Beisiegel

Tim McKay

, Last Updated: 12:07 PM ET

The field she beat was small.

She's not the most talented woman golfer out there.

She only had one top-10 finish in her couple years on the LPGA Tour.

Women shouldn't be trying to play on men's professional golf tours anyway.

Isabelle Beisiegel has heard them all.

What does she have to say to all the critics after becoming the first woman to earn a card to compete on a men's professional tour?

"They're not wrong," says the 32-year-old native of Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Que., who earned her card at a Canadian Tour Q-school event last week at Morningstar Golf Club in Parksville, B.C., in spite of her critics.

"They just don't have the same perspective I do."

And it's Beisiegel's amazing outlook on life and her faith in God that she relied on.

After carding a 91 a couple of weeks prior at a qualifier for the men's U.S. Open and being "embarrassed," she was ready to pull out of the Canadian Tour event.

"I didn't know if I wanted to open my heart to another public failure," Beisiegel says.

After some soul-searching, she decided to play and, after a dazzling 68 in the third round -- "the best round of my life" -- she placed eighth and secured playing status.

And her approach to tournaments also flies in the face of convention.

"I prepare myself to lose and to be OK with that," Beisiegel says.

"After the third round, I knew (getting a card) was possible, but I totally prepared myself to lose.

"It goes against everything, but you're going to have peace."

And besides, Beisiegel has failed before.

In 2004, she was the first woman to attend PGA Tour Q-school and she also has tried to qualify for the men's U.S. Open.

On Tuesday, she failed to qualify for the women's U.S. Open, but it doesn't seem to matter to the incredibly grounded Beisiegel, whose goal is to just keep playing whenever and wherever she can.

For now, she plans on continuing to play on the Futures Tour (a feeder for the LPGA) and figure out a schedule for the Canadian Tour, which has an event in Victoria, B.C., this week.

She would like to make it back to the LPGA Tour, on which she played from 2004- '06 before being sidelined by Graves disease, which resulted in surgery to remove her thyroid gland.

And, she still would like to make it to the PGA Tour, too.

Beisiegel said she sent a letter of encouragement to Michelle Wie years ago when the then-teen phenom was getting exemptions into men's events.

"I sent (Wie) a letter a long time ago, and I don't even know if she got it, but it was just to encourage her to persevere."

As for beating all those ladies to be the first to earn a tour card to play with the boys, Beisiegel thinks it's pretty "cool."

"It's so nice, really neat. It's an honour," she says. "A lot of girls have better pedigrees than I do, but it's nice to be first."

But, like Wie and Annika Sorenstam, Beisiegel has her detractors and those who try to belittle the achievement by saying it was a fluke or that she will fall flat on her face.

"It really doesn't matter," she says. "I get bothered, I read and hear it. I get hurt by that stuff, I'm human."

But you can't take back history.

"I know that it was impossible. I was there."

WONG TO PLAY MEMORIAL

Vancouver's Eugene Wong will tee it up with the big boys this week at The Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio.

The 20-year-old amateur, who plays for the University of Oregon, got into the field by winning last year's Jack Nicklaus Award for the top player in NCAA Division 1. He tees off Thursday with Americans Colt Knost and Drew Weaver.


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