OTTAWA | Brigitte Thibault had the Canadian Women’s Open on her calendar for a long time. Not just because it’s set close to home, but mostly because it would be the setting for one of his biggest decisions. For the first time in her career, the young golfer from Rosemère ended up as a professional.
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Thibault got his first taste of the LPGA Tour at the 2016 Canadian Open in Alberta. She was only 17 at the time and had barely three years of experience in the golfing world.
Gradually, she rose through the amateur ranks, participated in American university programs, won prestigious tournaments in the United States, and twice competed in the Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship.
Since it all started six years ago at this edition of the national omnium, it was logical that she made her big leap to the pros there.
“That was my goal. It was important to my decision, she stressed Thursday after her first round of 73 (+2) at Ottawa Hunt Golf Club. I had everything planned for it to happen here. »
Since last winter, Thibault has been rehearsing interviews, particularly with The newspaperthat she would make the leap to the pros in the summer.
Determined and resolute, she kept her word.
Of course, with this big decision comes a life change. The gap between amateurs and professionals is large. It’s not enough just to focus on the sport. You have to have the business boom and clench your claws to be able to hope for sponsorship.
Historically, Thibault has never been afraid to step out of his comfort zone. She has embarked on several adventures, particularly during the pandemic.
The business administration graduate took the bull by the horns and multiplied the approaches. No talk of chasing his pennies and halting his tournament preparations.
“I prepared for this big leap. You have to make the right decisions and settle in the right places. It is important to think of everything. I created a budget of around $200,000 because I want to focus on my training and performance rather than constantly worrying about finances,” she explained.
“I want to be with people I trust, who will encourage me and stay by my side. I don’t want to be swimming in money, but it’s important to have enough to be able to play without worrying. »
Thibault has therefore already signed some contracts and wants to land new orders.
“Every athlete is different. This success depends on the personalities and relationships that are nurtured. I grew up in this universe. I love interacting with people and meeting new people whether on the golf course or elsewhere. It’s a side I like in the business. I manage my relationships with partners myself. »
To make her travel easier, the Quebec native has relocated to Austin, Texas, where she can use all of the resources and facilities at the University of Texas Longhorns, for whom she played last season. A privilege granted to those who have worn its colors.
In order to start her career on the right foot with the pros, the 23-year-old Quebecer figured she would go through the qualifying process for the Epson Circuit, the antechamber of the LPGA, by finding a certain status. But a hasty exit in the first qualifying phase let them down.
“Honestly, I was surprised because I was ready. I thought I did everything right to prepare for it,” said the man who posted three over par in California last weekend.
She must now go through the traditional Monday qualifiers to enter a tournament on the Epson Circuit or the LPGA. It will also launch on various smaller US satellite circuits.
She doesn’t rule out an exodus to Europe to further develop on the women’s circuit.
As the saying goes, all roads lead to Rome. However, some are not as well paved.
“My plan doesn’t change. I want to keep pushing my limits. All ways are good to reach the LPGA. My goal is no different. I want to go there. It’s up to me to find the opportunities and seize my opportunities.
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