It’s hard to imagine a Solheim Cup player flying under the radar, but Sweden’s Madelene Sagstrom is doing just that at the Pacific Bay Resort Australian Ladies Classic – Bonville.
Sagstrom, the 36-hole leader at last week’s ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, is teeing up at Bonville for the first time and after playing several practice holes is feeling good about her chances for the week.
A captain’s pick at the 2017 Solheim Cup where she beat Austin Ernst in the Sunday singles, Sagstrom plays predominantly on the LPGA Tour and after playing at both the Grange and Vic Open in recent weeks has extended her stay in Australia to play some Ladies European Tour events.
“This is my third trip to Australia, but I’ve never really played well here in the past,” she said.
“It’s always at the start of the season and I think I’ve had a bit of rust in the game but this time around it has been a bit different.
“I played really well last week, and I feel like playing my third week in a row now I’m in a bit of a rhythm, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Sagstrom toured the Bonville layout for the first time Tuesday and said while there were no guarantees in golf she felt the course sets up well for her game.
“I hit the ball quite high, and I already feel like that is going to be an advantage because all the greens are raised,” she said.
“But of course, if it gets windy that can work against you, too. I’m feeling good about my game, and every golfer comes to a tournament wanting to win, but you can never get too far ahead of yourself.
“I mean, it’s golf. Anything can happen.”
With a weather forecast suggesting rain may be a factor over the weekend, Sagstrom said the most important club in the bag might actually be patience.
“I don’t think I’ll be hitting a lot of drivers, so the strategy for me is really about placing the ball in the right spots off the tees,” she said.
“But if the weather forecast is right then it becomes a test of patience and attitude as much as anything.
“And rolling the ball well on the greens, of course. That’s a given every week at this level, and you have to putt well to compete.”
Having attended college in the US at the University of Louisiana, she said she felt comfortable with the Bermuda grasses at Bonville which will be key after a week of tight lies in Adelaide.
“It’s one of the most important aspects of being a professional,” she said. “You have to adapt every single week to different types of golf courses and grasses.
“This week is a perfect example of that because it’s completely the opposite of what we had at The Grange.
“There, the lies were super tight, and the ground was firm so you could bounce the ball short and run it along the ground to get near the hole.
“Here is the opposite where there is less roll, and you need to carry the ball to the green to get near the hole.”
Sagstrom tees off at 7.30am in the first round alongside Rebecca Artis and St. Michael’s Golf Club representative Stephanie Kyriacou.
The Pacific Bay Resort Australian Ladies Classic – Bonville will be held February 21-24.