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7 countries you might be surprised to learn have professional golfers

By Luke Kerr-Dineen

If you've been following the Women's British Open, you'll know that history is being made this week. Laetitia Beck, a 22-year-old from Caesarea, Israel, will become the first Israeli golfer ever to play in a major.

"It means a lot to me," Beck told Ron Sirak on Wednesday. "It's not like I have a role model. It's the first time for me and my country."

It took a confluence of events for Beck to become a professional golfer, so it's not surprising that Israel hasn't produced more of them. But is Israel the most unlikely country to produce a professional golfer? Not even close.

Bangladesh

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There are actually three current professional golfers from Bangledesh, with Siddikur Rahman the most notable. Rahman is ranked 159th in the world and plays most of his golf on the Asian Tour, but has also competed on the European and PGA Tours.

Botswana

Stuart J. Smith is the only golfer from Botswana, according to the Official World Golf Rankings. He plays almost exclusively on the Sunshine Tour, finishing T-10 in the Nedbank Affinity Cup last November.

Kazakhstan

Kazakhstani golfers are hard to come by, but they tend to pop up during the Challenge Tour's Kazakhstan Open. Byung Ku Kang was the only Kazakhstani in the field last September, shooting 87-82 to miss the cut.

Lesotho

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Tsietsi Mofokeng is currently Lesotho's sole professional golfer. He plays a variety of mini-tours in South Africa, mostly the Sunshine Tour: so far this year, he hasn't made a cut in four starts.

Pakistan

Pakistani golfers aren't actually as rare as you think. There are a handful of them that skirt around the Asian, most notably Muhammad Munir, who played in the 2013 Dubai Desert Classic.

Rwanda

Jean-Batiste Hakizimana, proudly declared the country's "number one professional golfer" by one of the country's media outlets, played in the 2014 Barclays Kenya Open, but shot 79-78 to miss the cut.

Sri Lanka

sri lanka-518.jpgSri Lanka is known more for its cricket than its golf, but that's not stopping Mithun Perera from making some real inroads on the Asian Tour. Despite only a handful of courses in the country, he earned his full Asian Tour card in 2013 after three top 10s.

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