Buhai on the Brink
Ashleigh Buhai now 28 years of age formally known as Simon, had an amateur career on par with every world class professional in the world. It is a known fact that you have to learn to win as an amateur before you turn professional, it is crucial to your transition. That is why, whenever women’s golf is brought up in conversation here in SA, the first thing always asked is ‘what has happened to Ashleigh Simon?’ that is how big an impact her dominance brought to women’s golf in SA, that for the last 9 years since she turned pro people are still waiting for her to live up to her potential.
What has happened to Ashleigh Simon? What has happened, now her 4th season on the LPGA she had finally broken the barrier and ‘Buhai is on the brink’ of getting her first win, after an amazing season of three top five finishes on the LPGA. Only a week ago finishing T3rd at Blue bay LPGA, when interviewed and asked about getting that long over due win on the LPGA she said “I feel I am getting more comfortable with the situation. I always say, winning is a feeling, no matter where you’re trying to win,” she explained. “Obviously the stage out here is huge and everybody at the top of the leaderboard has a chance to win. I feel I must just keep trusting my swing and sticking to my goals and my plan, hopefully I will have a chance.’’
Ashleigh had the ‘winning feeling’ most of her amateur career and when she had reached a plateau by winning everything there was to win in SA, she turned professional and went abroad as there was no developed tour back in 2008 here in South Africa. This would suit a rookie professional to establish herself as a professional first, not only in her performance but the transition of having the responsibility of a career to now manage off the course as well and most importantly gain the ‘winning feeling’ before taking on the best in the world overseas.
“Ashleigh, will you marry me?’’
Not only has Ashleigh transitioned successfully to the LPGA, she transitioned this year as well on tour being known from Simon to Buhai after marrying her boyfriend of nine years and caddy David Buhai last December. David proposed at the 2015 Omega Dubai Ladies Masters on the 18th green at The Emirates Golf Club. “Ashleigh, will you marry me?” appeared on the leaderboard, surrounded by red hearts.
So, this is what has happened to ‘Ashleigh Simon’ now Mrs Buhai and now finally an LPGA star who is on the brink of joining Lee- Anne pace in the LPGA winners circle. Having success in other aspects in your life plays a vital role to your career, that ‘winning feeling’ in yourself as a person gives you the confidence to succeed.
Ashleigh Buhai ended her Sanya Ladies Open 2017 campaign in Hainan, China in T37th and now prepares for the the Omega Dubai Ladies Classic taking place from the 6th – 9th December 2017.
written by Tijana Kraljevic
Pinkstig Pro and Sunshine Tour Player