Slovakia’s no.1 golfer Zuzana Kamasova is playing on her home course at Gray Bear GC, within Tale ski, golf and hotel resort, near Brezno this week, which is hosting the Allianz Ladies Slovak Open for the third successive year. Her American coach, Skip Malek, co-designed the course and is caddying for her, demonstrating her strong ties with the venue. Here she gives her thoughts ahead of the event.
Zuzana, you must be very excited to be playing here at your home golf course again for the Allianz Ladies Slovak Open this week.
I am very delighted. I am super-happy we came back to Gray Bear. It’s the third time that the Allianz Ladies Slovak Open is held here so I’m very excited that everybody just came back to the tournament. The girls are loving it and the golf course is in great shape so I’m looking forward to the tournament.
You are the star here. Does that bring any pressure?
I don’t know if it brings any pressure. Obviously playing on home soil brings the positives in but it also brings the responsibility, because everybody wants you to do well and everybody roots for you. There are some different pressures but I’m glad if people come and hopefully they will root for everyone, not just me. When you have everyone coming to your country it’s a great treat.
I understand you have your coach on the bag for the tournament.
Skip Malek has been my coach since I started playing golf. He’s also the co-designer of this golf course so he knows the place inside out. There may be a few secret tips, I’m not sure. We’ve played this golf course many times together so he’s going to be the star and trying to get the caddie of the week award. He’s going to be on the bag and I’m very excited as he has never caddied for me in a tournament, in a regular round, so I am excited about that.
What are your hopes for the tournament?
I don’t have a specific goal in mind, I just want to do well, play my game and see where it takes me.
Are you targeting a second LET victory here?
After winning in Morocco last year, I know that sometimes things click when you least expect it. Sometimes not having too high expectations and taking one shot at a time, one day at a time, takes the pressure off you and if you try to enjoy the moment, that’s what normally happens and that’s all I’m going to do.
How do you assess your season to date?
I’ve done everything similar to last year but I just feel that the numbers add up. I’ve practised hard and the swing is actually getting to a better level. Sometimes the numbers don’t show so patience is the key.
How have you prepared for the tournament?
I took Holland off because we have a five week stretch and that would be a little too much. I was here last week for two days but nothing specific: just the same preparation as for every other tournament. Skip came on Sunday so we had a couple of days to work together, which I was excited about. That’s the only difference really because I don’t get to see Skip too much during the year.
What are your preferred playing conditions?
In this valley we can get it all in one day but if the showers and thunder storms stay away, that would be great. If some rain falls, you can’t count on it, but I would like for it to stay this way where it’s a little cloudy and not too warm and hopefully no thunder.
Talk about your role with the Slovak Golf Association.
I am still the assistant coach for the national team so I do work with the kids and I am sort of the face for the project of the Tour of Olympic Hopes, the kids from very young from six to 14. I am busy with that and playing on LET. We called it the Tour of Olympic Hopes, because we wanted to show that golf is actually an Olympic sport and people in Slovakia should take it as a sport, which hasn’t been happening. For the kids, to show them that this is where the Olympics are and it will be the first Olympics where golf has been played for 100 years. It was on the Olympic hopes in golf.
Which young prospects should we look out for in the tournament?
We have three amateurs playing: Emma Klimentova, Natalia Heckova and Carolina Cordieri. Then we have Vicky Tomko who is half Slovak and half Belgian and I think plays under the Belgian flag.