Katja Pogacar trades Slovenia embassy for living in car to chase dream

A bed at the Embassy of Slovenia was a luxury Katja Pogacar is prepared to give up this year, trading the comforts of home for "living in my car" to pursue her dream around the United States.

Pogacar, the first woman from Slovenia to qualify for the Ladies European Tour, will tee off at the Women's NSW Open at the Queanbeyan Golf Club on Thursday after finishing second at the Canberra Classic last week.

Katja Pogacar finished second at the Canberra Classic last week. Photo: Elesa Kurtz

Katja Pogacar finished second at the Canberra Classic last week. Photo: Elesa Kurtz

But she has her eyes set on a bigger prize when she returns to the US to play on the Symetra Tour, an LPGA development tour, to aim for the top tier of women's golf.

For Pogacar that means having no fixed address for the immediate future and staying in and driving her car to tournaments to boost her rankings and earnings.

She was invited to stay at the embassy in Canberra this week, giving her a home away from home as she prepares to embark on a journey to test her dedication.

"But I'm excited. I won't be staying in the best hotels with the best views or pools, nothing like that," Pogacar said.

"I'll probably be living in my car for a little bit, probably until my boyfriend finds a job and has a base. For now, I'm just leaving things open because in golf, I've learnt in the past two weeks, too much planning isn't good.

"I didn't even know I was playing the Pro-Am [at Queanbeyan on Thursday] a few days ago.

"The tournaments in America are week by week and are drive-able. You just have all of your stuff with you in your car and just drive one place to another.

Katja Pogacar lines up her putt.  Photo: Dion Georgopoulos

Katja Pogacar lines up her putt. Photo: Dion Georgopoulos

"I did it for three weeks last year. It's not my favourite type of living, the main thing is to keep yourself healthy. I know what I'm getting into ... I can't really afford hotels yet. But there are host families and houses, hopefully I get them because they are used up pretty fast."

Pogacar, who went to Ohio State University, finished just three shots behind Canberra Classic winner Anne Van Dam last week, beating defending champion Jiyai Shin for the runner-up prize.

She will face a different sort of challenge when she's part of the 140-strong field at NSW Open after play was abandoned because of wet weather in the Pro-Am on Wednesday.

"I've figured a few things out at the beginning of the week and I've been working on things in the five weeks I've been in Australia, it's nice to see the work has paid off," Pogacar said.

Defending champion Meghan MacLaren will lead a hot field, while Wollongong's Tahnia Ravnjak is in good form after a win at Moss Vale on Tuesday.

"I'm really excited to play in my home state open, and ready to test myself against the world’s best. I’m in form; I'm ready to go," Ravnjak said.


Thursday-Sunday: Play from 7.30am in round one. Entry to the course is free.