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ELEN

Mozo

has it all. She is

not only a great golferbut also has beauty and brains. The LPGA and Ladies European Tour rookie from Spainwas intown for aweek ofpractice at the prestigious Laguna National Golf Club and to get herself acciimatised with the weather in Asiabefore she played at an LPGA tournament event in Taiwan. The highlyphotogenic

blond recentlymade the headlines when she posed for the ESPNMagBodyIssue. Her bold move (CamilloVillegas also appeared in a similar spread in the past) made a

statement about herbelief in the meaningbehind the picture - that is, ofbeing an athlete who is passionate and committed to a healthy lifesryle. "I hope that young and upcoming athletes will see me as a role model and inspiration in the future," she said. Belen staned golf in a small town in Cadiz, Spain at the age ofeight. Back in zoo6 her golfcareer took a big turn afterwinning the British Girls Amateur Championships, British Ladies OpenAmateur Championships and the European Ladies Amateur Championships inthe same year. It gave her a chance and exposure to playinthe U.S. and caught the attention of collegiate coaches. "Itwas a dream come true for me when I got agolfscholarship to USC in Califomia. Not onlycan I continue to play at a high level of

golfbut also get averygood

education for the future."

continued to excel in golf during college and won the NCAANational ChamShe

pionships. She graduated in International Relations last December and at the same time qualified for the LPGA and LET tour.

PHOTOGRAPHS BY

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According to Belen turning professional is easybut the

transitionwas difficultbecause she felt that she needed excessive practice to be perfect. "For some reason that I cannot explain, I thought that I need to make big changes

in mylife to excel on the tour andbe like the otherbig name

players." Duringthe last six months onthe road she leamed avery valuable lesson. She realised that you do not reallyneed to change and be someone else to be able to compete on ahigher level. "I already got there with

myown talent, skills and dedication. These should be able to take me to the next level." Having a team on your side is also abig change in her life. Belenwas luclryto get agreat agent who takes care

ofher

schedule and travel plans. She also found her new swing coach Mike Adams who is among golf 's elite instructors in the world. Golf Digest has ranked him in the world top

50. strongplayer and confident with her

She is a she feels

longgame. Sheknows that she needs to getbetter on her short game to shoot lower and more consistent scores on tour. "I have been working with Mike on my short game and also onyardages to get more accurate aroundthe greens. We were also working on my shaping the ball because I know that this will give me

accuracywith my shots." Duringthe offseason she is going to put more focus onher puttingto build confidence. "I want to feel that everytime I make a stroke the ball is going into the hole." Another part ofher team is her nutritionist Robert Yangwho is with the Titleist Performance Institute. Lately, he was able to discoverthat she was gluten and lactose

RUBY CHICO KURTELIUS

familiar a place for me where I get to playon courses together with people that I grewup

intolerant which meant that she cannot eat bread, pasta, ce-

real, milk, yogurt or

foodwith

with."

carbohydrates. "These foods made me tired and gave me stomach problems, and I was unable to function roo per cent on the

Asia is quite new territory for her. She is learning to love this part ofthe worldwhere she feels "people are friendly, hospitable and respectfirl". Even ifthe fans don't recognise her they've given her tremen-

course. I had to make changes

to my dietwith more fats and protein. Now, I feel stronger than everbefore." For her the most important part ofher team is herboyfriend and familywho have always been there to guide

dous support that she feels like she is

and support her. "They are the people that keep me mentally strong and focused on my game."

shopping and seeing so many people. No one seemed to be in a hurry and they eventook the time to smile and sayhi to

Qualiffing for both tours was a great feat and it gave her a chance to play titerally around the world. "Playing in the United States is a great experience for me since the courses are in pristine condition and the crowd is always huge. Europe is fun

a

stranger." She was also im-

pressed

with Laguna National

Golf and Country Club

with

their great facilities and warm hospitality. One thing is for sure the lovely senoritawill be back next year to see and learn more

where I get to see different countries, currency, cuitures and languages. It is also

JANUARY 2O]2

"somebody''.

Belenwas especially amazed with Singapore. "The ciryis a combination of NewYork and Los Angeles butwith a clean and safer environment. I had a great time in Orchard Road

about Singapore.

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c

GOLF DIGEST SINGAPORE

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IO9


Rising LPGA Star Belen Mozo trains at Laguna National