I am happy with my LPGA rookie campaign for three reasons: I had a blast, I learned a ton, and I improved.
This season was full of highs and lows, but overall it was a lot of fun. I stayed with a dozen wonderful host families, made new friends, and travelled to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time. There were immaculate golf courses, cool new cities, and real, live galleries with actual human beings at events. I think what I found most fun, though, was being surrounded every week by 143 of the world’s most talented, hard working, and passionate women. Having the opportunity to play the game at its very top level is such an amazing, exciting honor.
Figuring things out
I learned a great deal about what it takes to for me to succeed. I learned the importance of dialing in my distance control, practice strategies for improving putting consistency, mental strategies for improving chipping, the need to have clarity and ownership around my golf swing week in and week out, and the importance of keeping detailed statistics. I also simply learned over time how to be comfortable and trust my game on the bigger stage.
This long stretch between my return from New Zealand and Q-School has allowed me the time necessary to focus on how I can improve. I’ve been structuring my off-season practice around what I learned and improving the statistically weak areas of my game. For a few examples: I’m doing a consistent set of fundamental putting drills and checking in with my coach more often to stay out ahead of my negative tendencies on the greens. I’ve worked to better understand the tendencies in my swing, what causes certain ball fights, and how to straighten things out quicker. I have also dedicated far more time to distance wedge practices because I know this is my key scoring area.
On the way up
The thing I am most proud of from this season is my improvement over time. Those of you who followed closely know this was evident in my scores. I played in a total of thirteen events; my scoring average in the first seven was 73.8 and 71.3 in the last six.
I love the Japanese proverb, “Fall seven, rise eight.” I didn’t let early failures beat and keep me down. I learned from them, got up, and was better for it in the long run.
Back to (Q) School
I finished my LPGA rookie season at 144 on the money list. By finishing in the top 150, I did guarantee myself some LPGA status for next year. This is important because it gives me the ability to reshuffle up on the priority list if I do get into an event and make money. However, it is likely only good enough to guarantee a start in one or two events, so I will be returning to Daytona Beach for the final stage of Q-School Nov 29-Dec 3 in attempt to earn full playing privileges for 2018.
To stay sharp for final stage, I have played a few small events. I shot 73-68 to finish T-5th in the California Women’s State Open and 71-71-71 to finish T-3rd in the Arizona Women’s Open.
I must say that I am more excited than ever to have the opportunity of Q-School ahead. I am confident in not just my ability to get back on the LPGA, but to succeed there once I do. I am really looking forward to competing!
One last thing: I'd like to give a major thank you to my sponsors Crucial by Micron, Snake River Farms, and TR Toppers for their support this year. From Ottawa to Auckland, they made my journeys across the globe possible. I am proud to represent them near and far!
Wishing everybody a Happy Thanksgiving filled with love and gratitude!