Loucks knows it's time to turn professional
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Aug 06, 2008  |  Vote 0    0

Loucks knows it's time to turn professional

St. Marys Journal Argus

Breanne Loucks says she just knows that it's time to turn pro.The 20-year-old Loucks'the top female golf for her age in Wales'was in St. Marys last week, visiting with family and fine-tuning her game for the U.S. Women's Amateur.The 108th annual U.S. Amateur championship is being held this week, Aug. 4-10, at the Eugene Country Club in Eugene, Oregon.Based on the low numbers she posted last week at St. Marys Golf and Country Club, Loucks appeared focussed and ready for the prestigious tournament.Ace on No. 9 last MondayShe fired a four-under-par 68 from the men's white tees. During a front-nine round last Monday, Loucks shot a three-under 34. It included a hole-in-one on the par 3 No. 9 hole. She used a 9-iron to record the fifth ace of her young career.Last Tuesday, during Ladies Night at St. Marys, Loucks fired a two-under 35 on the front nine. It included easy tap-in birdies on No. 6 and 7."I really like this (St. Marys) course," she said. "It's been a good test before I go to Oregon. "For Rick (Fifield) and all the shareholders of the golf club to give me these courtesies, it's been fantastic."At this week's U.S. Women's Amateur, a total of 156 golfers began play Monday. The top 64 players advance after the first two days of competition (36 holes of stroke play). Beginning today (Aug. 6), the final five days are match play'leaving the final two golfers playing 36 holes (at least) to decide the championship Sunday.Turning pro in OctoberLoucks, meanwhile, is turning pro on Oct. 16 of this year."I can't wait; I'm very excited," she said during an interview with the Journal Argus last week as she practiced putting at the St. Marys G&CC.Loucks will attempt to qualify for the women's pro tour in January, although she's looking for a couple of invites to pro events at the end of this current year. The four-day qualifying tournament is being held in Spain.Approximately 120 golfers will be attempting to obtain their pro cards, and about 30 will be successful, she noted."I have to stay confident and be positive, and see what happens," Loucks said. "If I get those invites (to pro events) at the end of the year, maybe I'll make enough money and won't have to go to tour school. They'll automatically exempt me into the following year."Gets taste of winningLoucks certainly got a taste of winning at a high level this past year.She won the South African amateur stroke play and match play championship at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club in April, and also captured the Irish Women's Open stroke play championship at Elm Park Golf Club in late June."I was very, very happy," she said of those results.Just recently, Loucks played for Wales in the European team championship in Sweden. She fired a six-under-par 66, the low score of the week, in that competition."I played very well individually, and that's all you can do, isn't it?" she said.When she's playing well, Loucks is putting well and "shaping" her approach shots."I tend to like to shape shots," she explains. "If everything is going my way, and I feel really confident about the shapes I'm going to hit and firing at the pins, then everything seems to fall into place."But when I'm putting well, then I'll score well."What has she learned or improved upon the most over the past couple of years, Loucks was asked."Mostly this winter, I've had to accept that there's no such thing as perfect," she replied. "I'm always striving to be perfect; that's why I'm a perfectionist."My coach and I have worked on a lot of stuff, trying to just accept that no one is perfect. I'm never going to hit absolutely perfect shots because no one does. I think I have to accept that, and go out there and enjoy it, and play for Breanne Loucks."I lot of the mental game has come into (her play) the last couple of years," she added.St. Marys general manager Rick Fifield golfed a round with Loucks, and thinks she has all the tools to be very good."She's a great golfer; she's going to be a good one," Fifield said."She's definitely got a lot of talent. She's got the right attitude and she works at it'physically and mentally. She's got the whole package. I think she'll do all right."Right time to turn proBreanne Loucks has had several U.S. college scholarship offers in the past couple of years as well, but she says she just KNOWS that it's the right time to turn professional."People wanted me to turn pro last year, and even the year before, but I obviously felt that I was too young, and didn't have enough experience with winning." she said. "I still wanted to win."Last year, I finally won. And this year, I've won four times, so I've really done well this season. You get that experience of winning, and getting a taste of it, so I'm ready to turn pro now. I think at the end of this year, I will be biting at the bit so much and I can't wait to get out there (on the pro tour)."To be honest, last year I questioned myself. Why and when is it going to come and am I ever going to turn pro? It's a weird feeling, but you just know. That's all I can say."While acknowledging that she lives in and competes for Wales, Breanne Loucks calls St. Marys and Canada her ‘home-away-from-home.'"I represent my country, Wales, and Great Britain and Ireland also, but I still have a Canadian passport," she says. "Sometimes I feel that I am coming home. It's nice to come home because I was born here (in St. Marys). I was just a year (old) or so when we moved (to Wales)."It's nice to be back. I love being back here; it's lovely."Notes:'Breanne Loucks is the granddaughter of Jim and Donna Loucks, of St. Marys, and the daughter of Bill Loucks and Sandra Loucks, who both live in Wales. Both are former St. Marys residents.'Eugene Country Club in Oregon is ranked among the top 100 courses in the U.S. by Golf Digest, and among the top 100 Modern courses by Golfweek.It's the second oldest country club in Oregon.

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