Beatriz Recari quickly cut off any Anna Kournikova comparisons that might be lying in wait in her LPGA future by winning the CVS/pharmacy LPGA Challenge Sunday at Blackhawk Country Club in Danville, Calif.
Recari, a 23-year-old from Spain whose dazzling looks have been showcased in numerous photo shoots on the web, turned down an offer from Sports Illustrated earlier this year to become the first LPGA player to pose for the magazine’s popular swimsuit issue. She’s the first LPGA rookie to win this season.
“I felt calm all day long,” Recari said in a telephone interview after the round. “I just let it happen.”
In 13 previous starts in LPGA stroke-play events this year, Recari had missed the cut 10 times and recorded just one top-10 finish.
“I just got back to basics,” Recari said.
Since winning LPGA playing privileges at Q-School last December, Recari has made her home in Miami. She said she was inspired having her parents in the United States watching her play after not seeing them for several months. She took up the game when she was 11 caddying in Spain for her father, who told her if she wanted to play, she’d have to commit to practicing every weekend, no matter what inclement weather might await her. Though she said Sunday’s wet and chilly weather in Danville wasn’t a factor, her experience practicing in bad weather couldn’t have hurt.
“I think my parents didn’t want me to take up the sport and quit two weeks later,” Recari said. “It made me very disciplined. We have some cold weather in Pamplona.”
Recari grew up in Pamplona, famous for its annual running of the bulls, where people step into Pamplona’s streets to run with the dangerous animals.
“I’ve never run with them, and I never will,” Recari said.