Bieber sets high standard at Amateur

PAUL TURENNE -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:51 AM ET

When a golfer gets off to a six-stroke lead on the first day of a tournament, it's pretty tough for the rest of the field to catch up. But it's even harder if they only have one round to do it.

Stacey Bieber, a 20-year-old Winnipegger who just finished her sophomore year at Texas Christian University, shot a four-under 69 yesterday in the first round of the Manitoba Women's Amateur Championship at Bel Acres Golf and Country Club.

Thunder Bay's Angela Daykin was second with a 75.

A LOT OF WORK TO DO

A rain-soaked Bel Acres forced Golf Manitoba to cancel Tuesday's round, which would have been the first of a three-round tournament. Instead, today's second round will also be the final one of a 36-hole affair, which means Bieber's competitors will have a lot of work to do in a short time.

"It would have been nice to have three rounds but we'll do what we can with two," said Brandon's Kaitlin Troop, the reigning junior girls champion who sits in third at the amateur after shooting 76 yesterday.

Bieber said she won't change a thing today.

"I'm just trying to play my game. It doesn't matter to me how long it is. If it was one day I wouldn't care."

Bieber's round was helped by a 40-foot chip-in for eagle on the par-5 15th.

She said coach Derek Ingram has helped her with her mental game, including how to recover from bad holes and hold a lead.

Being in the lead is nothing new for Bieber, who held a four-stroke lead with three holes to play at last year's women's amateur, but eventually lost in a playoff to Jill Hardy, who is not defending her title this year.

"I didn't think about last year at all (yesterday)," said Bieber. "I was just thinking I want to win this. I'm going to work hard regardless."

Running concurrently with the amateur is the Manitoba Women's Senior Championship, for women 50 years old and older.

Jo-Ann Lindsay, who won the title eight times in nine years between 1992 and 2000, sits in the lead after shooting 75 yesterday at Bel Acres.

Judi Lidstone and Judy Lang are tied for second with 77's.

Lindsay credited her putting for her first-place finish, and Lidstone said that's something she'll have to improve on herself today if she expects to catch Lindsay.

The top four senior finishers will represent Manitoba at the Royale National Women's Senior Championships in Dewinton, Alta., Aug. 22 to 25. Lindsay cannot make the team though. Although she is a former Winnipegger, she has lived in Edina, Minn., for the past three years and is therefore ineligible to make the team, although she can still be crowned senior champion.

The top four amateurs will represent Manitoba at the Royale Cup National Women's Amateur Championship in Squamish, B.C., Aug. 8 to 12 and at the Western Canadian team matches Aug. 21 to 24 in Edmonton.


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