The 2020 Worrells Women’s NSW Open was always going to be her swansong, and Bec Artis has finished her final round as a touring professional.
After making the decision last year to ‘go home’ and take over the Tourist Hotel at Narrabri with her husband, Geoff, The Women’s Open at Dubbo was always going to be the symbolic ‘last’.
But she didn’t just come to make up the numbers; there’s a fire inside the two-time LET Winner’s heart, and she came to compete.
Opening rounds of 77 and 72 saw her make the cut on the number, then a one under 71 yesterday saw her jump a few spots. A 76 in the final round means she dropped a few spots but will finish within the top half of the field. Pretty impressive for a woman who has spent much of the last month or so on the golf course, not playing, but caddying for her good friend, Dame Laura Davies.
“I’m happy,” an emotional Artis said. “I suppose it just hits you. I had a good career, I’m proud of what I have achieved and I have loved every bit of it.”
“I know its time to settle down and stay at home. I’m looking forward to it.”
Up next for Artis is life as the publican of the Tourist Hotel in Narrabri, and some serious catch-up time with her family and friends. These simple things, she admits, she missed dearly during her ten years on Tour.
“I’ll enjoy life a bit, catch up with a few things I missed out on as a teenager.”
“Be surrounded by family and friends, the important people.”
A decade-long career on any world Tour is an outstanding achievement, and her two wins on the Ladies European Tour were the undoubted highlights of her time spent chasing the dream.
“The Swedish Open in 2013 and the Scottish in 15 were by far the highlights.
“I also got into the top 100 of the world rankings, scored a card on the LPGA and played full time.
“I made the International Crowns Team which meant I was one of the top four Aussies.
“There were a few highlights. I’ve had more highs, especially in Europe, than I have ever had lows,” she added.
Asked about what advice she would give her younger self, or indeed some of the golfers playing this week who are about to embark on the journey that is professional golf, Artis was upbeat.
“I don’t regret in terms of what I did.
“If I could have changed one thing, I would have got to LPGA earlier.
“It took me a few more years than I would’ve liked, and by the time I got there, I was probably losing the drive and passion.
“The LET is a great place to start your career, so enjoy it because it doesn’t last forever.
“Ten, eleven years has gone in a flash for me, and I have been lucky enough to be out there with my husband, and we enjoyed it together.”
Artis said the evening celebrations to mark the end of her career were going to be low-key and involve a small family gathering on the drive back home.
“We will probably go into ‘Coona’ (Coonabarabran) for a bit of Chinese with the family. There might be a beer or two.
“A few nieces and nephews have come over to watch me finish today, and that was what it was all about for me.”