Chasing my dreams one shot at a time
After all the excitement of earning my LPGA Tour card in December, my life has turned upside down. The last few months have been nothing but private jets and publicity ops. Or… maybe not quite. Come to think of it, 2017 hasn’t looked a whole lot different than my previous four years as a pro. I have been busy practicing and preparing as usual, trusting that the processes that got me this far will lead to success at the next stage, too.
I have had one road stint so far this year. The trip was kicked off with LPGA Rookie Orientation in Daytona Beach, FL. I learned the intricate ins-and-outs of the LPGA, got to know fellow rookies, and met staff members. Really, though, the two and a half days of education could all have been summed up in one lesson: 101 Ways To Get Fined on Tour.
Since orientation had already brought me all the way to Florida, I decided I might as well make the short trip from there down to the Bahamas for the year’s first LPGA event. I attempted to Monday qualify because my status did not earn me a position in the limited field. The Monday round was a wild one- I made six birdies, three doubles, and four bogeys in 30-40 mph winds to miss qualifying by six shots. This was fairly typical of early season play for me, some positives mixed in with a mess of rusty mistakes. As always, though, the tournament provided solid experience to file away for next time.
With seven days to kill in Florida before I flew out of the Fort Lauderdale Airport again, I migrated over to Naples, FL for the week. There I was graciously welcomed into the winter homes of my Rochester, NY host family the Parkers and then their fellow Rochester friends, the Lines. As I’ve said before, host families are what make tour life special for me. I'd like to give a huge thank you shoutout to Jamie and Mary Ann Parker and Rick and Judy Lines for treating me to an incredible week of practice, good wine, and ocean views!
My fourth and final stop was the Caribbean island of Tobago. Monifa Sealy, a member of the Symetra Tour, hosted a pro-am in her home nation to raise money for local junior golf programs. Forty female professionals played for our own purse alongside amateurs from Trinidad and Tobago. There were a few wrinkles in the operations of the first-time event, but overall it was an amazing time experiencing a corner of the world we might have never otherwise visited. Highlights included a glass-bottomed boat tour of coral reefs, some gorgeous golf holes along the ocean, and a ride around the island.
I arrived back in Phoenix February 7th, and I started answering daily to the question, “So when are you leaving?” on February 8th. You will find my upcoming schedule below. I am just barely on the outside looking in for the Phoenix and San Diego LPGA events, but I should be playing in Hawaii! After that, I expect to be playing a good amount of LPGA domestic events. I will give a better idea of my post-April schedule when I know it.
I shot 73-67-72 to finish 3rd at the last Cactus Tour event. I still find these local tournaments to be incredibly useful for getting (bigger) tournament ready. You can follow those scores here.
My major project of the last few months has been securing the financial support necessary to tee it up on the LPGA Tour. As you might imagine, this is an expensive endeavor. I have thus far reached about 60% of my goal for the year. If you or your company are interested in partnering, I would love to hear from you.
Here are my new sponsors for the upcoming season:
TR Toppers is the leading candy toppings supplier in the United States. If, for example, you have enjoyed chopped Reeses Pieces or brownie bites at a frozen yogurt shop, you most likely have TR Toppers to thank for that!
Snake River Farms is an Idaho family owned and operated business dedicated to producing the highest quality beef and pork in the country. Hungry for some American wagyu filet mignon? Or perhaps some Korbuta pork belly? Snake River Farms will deliver their incredible products directly to your doorstep. Use the code LPGA17 at checkout for free shipping on your first order.
The John and Carol Hepworth family are also partners. They are being represented on my bag with the simple letters “H.F.M.M.”, a personal reminder of their goal for me this season.
Thank you all for reading and following along. I'm looking forward to sharing more as this season really gets started.
An inside look at my journey in professional golf
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