Female qualifier Beisiegel shoots 78 in her first round on Canadian Tour

Associated Press

Series: Other Tour

Published: Friday, July 01, 2011 | 2:45 a.m.

Isabelle Beisiegel shot a 7-over 78 on Thursday in her Canadian Tour debut to fall 12 strokes behind the first-round leaders in the ATB Financial Classic at Bearspaw Country Club.

The 32-year-old Beisiegel, from Montreal, became the first female player to earn a playing card on a men’s professional golf tour on May 27 when she tied for ninth in the Spring Qualifying School.

“It was such a great experience for me today and I enjoyed the challenge,” Beisiegel said. “The conditions were tough and totally different from what I experience on the women’s tours. … I was really nervous just in warm up, I had so much energy. Eventually, I found my rhythm but it took a couple of holes.”

Ryan Yip, Alex Coe, Hugo Leon, Brad Fritsch, Liam Kendregan, Chan Kim, Chris Cunningham and Benjamin Alvarado opened with 66s to share the lead.

Beisiegel earned her card by tying for ninth place in the Q-School to take one of the last two nonexempt spots.

Beisiegel, a 32-year-old Montreal native who played at the University of Oklahoma, had a 4-under 68 in the third round, then closed with a 75 in rainy conditions to finish at 8-over 296 at Morningstar Golf Club. Before her success, she had tried repeatedly to earn a spot on the PGA Tour, and played sporadically on the LPGA Tour.

"I still can't believe it. It's a little overwhelming," Beisiegel said at the time. "I went into today just trying not to get ahead of myself. I focused on thinking about where I was and not what could happen. I was assured in the fact that no matter what happened it was going to be OK."