(Image courtesy and tournament information courtesy ladieseuropeantour.com) 

Buckeye Katja Pogacar had a very good weekend in France. But then, who couldn’t? Katja played in the LETAS event at the Golf de Terre Blanche course in Tourrettes, France. The course is about an hour away from Nice, so Katja was pretty close to the Riviera.

The LET Access Series is established as a developmental tour for players wanting to play the Ladies European Tour. I guess it is somewhat analogous to the LPGA’s Symetra Tour and the PGA’s Web.com Tour and Latinoamérica Tour that Rachel Rohanna, Bo Hoag and Tee-K Kelly play on.

Ladies European Tour Access Series

Katja played in the Terre Blanche Ladies Open. The course was set up at 5,885 yards and played to a par 72. The course is a bit on the short side, but the topography is very challenging. The fairways are narrow and tree-lines, there are quite a number of water hazards and a substantial bit of elevation changes. You don’t have to be long to play this course, but you’d better be a damn good ball striker.

Katja’s two rounds of 74-72-146 (+2) were good enough to move her into a finish of T-10th. This was scheduled as a 54 hole event, but with high winds on the final day, officials cancelled the final round.

Katja began her opening round on the back nine (hole #10) with five consecutive pars. A bogey on the par-4 15th hole bumper her to +1 for the round, but a closing birdie on the par-5 18th let Katja get to the turn at 36 (E).  She began her second nine with a birdie, but stumbled with a double bogey on the par-5 4th hole. She closed out her final five holes in +1 for a nine of 38 (+2) and a round of 74 (+2). After the first round, Katja was positioned at a T-27th with a lot of other players.

Katja began her second round on the front nine  with two pars. She then book-ended five pars with two bogeys to make the turn at 38 (+2). Katja’s back nine was a flurry of activity before thins settled down. Her first four holes were; birdie, bogey, birdie, birdie. Two under par in a four hole stretch. That’s pretty good. Katja parred her closing five holes for a back nine of 34 (-2) and a round of 72 (E). This well played round bumped Katja up 17 spots for a top ten finish.

A couple things of note with stats & stuff:

  • Katja was amazingly consistent in her two rounds. In each round she had a lot of symmetry with 3 birdies and 3 bogeys in each round. The only outlier was the double bogey in the first round. In the second round, she parred that hole.
  • In her first round, Katja played the par 3s to 2.75; in the second round it was 3.50. A little looser on day two, but her play in the par 4s and 5s more than made up for it.
  • In her first round, Katja played the par-4s to 4.20 (not bad, actually) then absolutely killed it in her second round with an average of 3.90. If you can play the par 4s under par for a round, your total game (driving, iron play, putting) is at a high level.
  • The pr 5s were played to 5.25 in her first round; primarily driven by the double bogey on the 4th hole. Her second round average of 4.75 was more to Katja’s capabilities.

This is the second consecutive event where Katja has displayed total control over her game. She hasn’t thrown up a lot of sub-par holes (although 3 birdies per round is pretty good), but she has really done a great job of avoiding 6s and 7s on her scorecard. At this level of play, these high numbers can be round-wreckers and she has done a good job of managing her game. Katja is going to be fun to follow.