French Open defence on the menu for Keating

Victoria’s Stacey Keating will use her second title defence of the Ladies European Tour season as a springboard to an important few months when she defends her Ladies Open De France title at the Chantaco Golf Club starting tonight.

In 2012, Keating shot a final round 64 for a one-stroke victory over Diana Luna for the second of back-to-back titles on her way to a 6th place finish on the LET Order of Merit for the season.

Stacey Keating Stacey Keating with the 2012 French Open trophy (Credit: LET)

“Yeah, I guess it’s always going to be nice going back to a place where I have so many great memories. I’m really looking forward to it.” Keating said ahead of her title defence.

So far this year, an outright 3rd place behind Lydia Ko in the New Zealand Open has been her best result on the Ladies European Tour but Keating has taken her career development to another level with opportunities to play a number of majors and events on the Japanese Tour.

“I mean, it’s always going to be tough to back up a year with 2 wins.” she said, “I had a great Australian summer, winning the Victorian Open was a huge goal of mine, and I’ve been able to play in Japan, qualify for the U.S. Open, play the British Open.”

“I’m very thankful for the other opportunities I’ve had and I’m sure these experiences will no doubt help me in the near future – and the year isn’t over!”

Recent ties for 12th at the Ladies Scottish Open and 6th at the Pilsen Masters have Keating in good form as she looks to climb from her already a highly respectable position of 18th place on the Order of Merit, the second best Australian behind recent Helsingborg Open winner, Rebecca Artis.

“I have found it difficult to get into the European season due to a lot of events cut down cause of weather. We’ve had a lot of breaks in the schedule too but we have a good run of events for next 6 weeks which I’m looking forward to.”

Her upcoming LET schedule will be punctuated by a trip to the Stage Two of the LPGA Qualifying School in Florida from October 8-11, with a place in the field for the Final Stage in early December firmly in her sights.

A LPGA Tour card would be the icing on the cake for a professional career that has built momentum over the past few years and would see her playing with the world’s best, including her idol, Karrie Webb, on a week-to-week basis.

It wasn’t long ago that Keating was supporting Webb from outside the ropes at a U.S. Open, as a winner of a Karrie Webb scholarship, but at this year’s Open at Sebonack in New York, she was firmly inside the ropes and played a practice round with Webb in her first Open.

“Hopefully, I won’t be playing Dubai!” Keating laughed, in reference to the LET’s final event of the year – which will clash with the Final Stage of Q School in Daytona Beach, Florida.