Chasing my dreams one shot at a time
The Championship last week marked my final amateur event, and I'm proud to say I ended on a high note. I did not walk away a national champion like I had dreamed about, but the sweet 16 finish really was sweet indeed.
The whole week was something I will remember forever. My dad and I teamed up with the Neisen family (parents Chris & Angie, my Husker teammate Steffi, and 16-year old sister Mackenzie) from the start. We played a practice round together early Saturday morning then headed out to Akron to watch the world's best take on Firestone at the WGC tournament. We saw Tiger and Adam Scott on the range, watched Bubba hit driver, 8-iron to make birdie on the 667 yd 16th hole, met Butch Harmon, and saw nearly all of our other favorite players. It was my first ever PGA tour event and believe me when I say I was in Heaven.
There was another practice round Sunday, a fabulous players' dinner, and then an early first-round tee time Monday morning. My rounds Monday and Tuesday were a little frustrating due to the lack of birdies, but I made some great par saves and scraped it around pretty well given the lengthy yardage. I had no idea I was riding the cut line Tuesday afternoon. After finishing, I was told that the 14 other girls at +5 had been praying I'd make a bogey down the stretch so there wouldn't be a playoff.... Well, sorry girls :) I played my final 11 holes at level par, forcing the 15-for-14 playoff. I made a very solid par on the playoff hole and was in to the big dance.
I love match play. The head-to-head competition gives such a great rush and makes me feel hyper-focused on each hole. This year I felt extremely confident and relaxed going into each one of my matches, and I believe that played a huge role in my 2-1 record. The wins can also be attributed to a fine display of short game- nothing breaks an opponent's back quite like getting up and down for par to halve a hole after being outdriven by 20 yards!
Someone asked me this week what I would have done differently in the final match. My answer was "nothing." Of course I could have played a bit better golf, but I felt like I made her win the match rather than me losing it. I remained calm and confident throughout the round, it just wasn't my day. That's okay.
It is hard to describe the electric atmosphere of a USGA event to someone unless you have been there. There is just something special about the championship, and that feeling is one of the reasons I have chosen to play professional golf. Hopefully my next USGA event will be the US Open.
My annual 1,200 mile trek across the country's most boring stretch of highway will take place in two days. Except for the whole 'school' part of college, I am excited to be heading back to Nebraska. I'm looking forward to playing with the team, working with my coach, and hitting the gym hard. And lastly, the Q-school countdown is now only 3 weeks!
An inside look at my journey in professional golf
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