Paula Reto is a name in South African golf that you may not have heard of, but the young South African is fast becoming a name to be reckoned with in the World of Golf. As it stands Paula will be joining Lee-Anne Pace as the South African contingent at the Olympic Games. We reached out to the growing sensation and had a chat with her about all things golf.
Jabu: You are in your second year on the LPGA tour, how difficult has it been?
Paula: It has been a bit of a challenge, I am still learning a lot about myself on tour and how to deal with tour life. I enjoy it a lot. One of the most challenging parts is the travel from one place to another and getting to know the courses we play by only having a few days of preparation.
Jabu: Ladies Golf is enjoying a rise in publicity in South Africa, has this led to you being recognised more?
Paula: Yes defqinitely, it was hard at first because I didn’t play golf in South Africa so no one knew of me, I think some still don’t know my name. Its ok, I’m still working towards that and working towards getting my name out there more often J I did play the South African open in 2014 and that definitely helped get my name out in south Africa so hopefully I will have more of those events.
Jabu: You shot an incredible 64 in Arkansas this year, was that your best round ever?
Paula: That was for sure my best round on LPGA, I was pleased about that day and cant wait to have more of those. My best round in my career was a 62, which was quite a nice scorecard.
Jabu: What has been the highlight of your pretty young career so far?
Paula: Just being able to keep my card for the first and second year. I am just embracing every moment and learning a lot from day-to-day. Every moment is great, the best experience I have gained was when I finished 3rd in Alabama last year. I can’t wait to put myself in more of those situations.
Jabu: South Africa have not won a ladies Major since Sandy Little in 1988, are you going to be our next?
Paula: Yes no doubt, I love the game and I wont give up until I do.
Paula: As of now I am, we have a couple more months before they close the entries. I know Stacy Bregmann and Ashleigh Simon are a couple of spots behind me; I will need to keep playing well and get more points so that I can secure my spot. I am not going to think about it, I plan on just keeping my head in the game and the results will follow.
Jabu: What does it mean to golfers to have the game included at the Olympics?
Paula: Means a lot, I was honored to visit the Olympic Museum in Switzerland a couple of weeks ago. It was so nice to see all the accomplishments of such great organization. I know this means a lot to all golfers since golf was never included until now. I hear all the girls talk about Olympics and how fun it’s going to be. Not only being able to take part in such a great event, but also being able to watch other athletes in person and staying at the same village will make the experience unforgettable.
Jabu: Which South African male counterpart is your favourite golfer?
Paula: I have always like Trevor Immelman, Iv watched him since I was young. He has a great swing and hope he continues to do great. I would love to play a round of golf with him someday. J Jabu: How has the Investec Cup strengthened South African Women’s golf? Paula: It has opened the door to many up coming golfers and helped them compete against top golfers and excel to levels such as LPGA and LET. I can see the Investec cup becoming a big tour in South Africa. I hope to play some of them next year. Jabu: We all know of Ashleigh Simon and Lee Anne Pace, but who else should we know about in South African Ladies golf? Paula: Definitely me, I’m still young in my career, I’m just being patient with my game and myself. Another girl who South Africa needs to watch is Bertine Strauss, great girl with an excellent swing and will power. She will be competing in the LPGA q School this year. So looking forwards to have her alongside us. Jabu: ATJ is a blog about all sport, what other sport are you a fan of? Paula: I love rugby; I am really enjoying the world cup this year. Also big fan of track and field so one of the sports I will be watching during the Olympics. Jabu: Who is the best ladies golfer you have played with? Paula: Other than me J, I have played with Stacy Lewis, and I think she’s a great golfer and very consistent. I played with her last year in Japan. I have played with other great golfers too, but would definitely say Stacy hits the ball great.
Working on that swing before my practice round today #australia A video posted by Paula Reto (@paularetosa) on Feb 16, 2015 at 7:51pm PST
Jabu: Where can our readers find out more about you?