The LPGA Dream is Alive

The LPGA Dream is Alive

After four rounds in Venice Florida I successfully qualified to third stage of the LPGA qualifying school held in the end of November.

Last year I went to the second stage qualifier and had a rough week. It was my first time going through the qualifying experience, and I just wasn’t quite ready for it. This year however, I was much better prepared, and knew what was ahead of me.

Finishing up with a 67 on my last round in Daytona Beach a couple of weeks earlier I had good confidence going in to this qualifier. My previous experience combined with my good game paid off. In the first round I shot a round of 3 under par 69, and followed that up the next day with a 71. At -4 I was tied for 10th out of the field of 157, whereof 70 and ties move on to the third and final stage. So I was looking good.

But like they say, ‘it ain’t over till it’s over’. In the third round the wind picked up, but despite it I continued the good play. That was right until the 8th hole. I hit my drive a little thin to the right, the wind kept pushing it out to the right and unfortunately I hit the cart path which made the ball jump one yard too long into a small bush. A drop later and another slightly loose shot and I found myself just barely between the roots of a huge tree. An attempted punch out from there went over the green, and unable to get up and down I finished the hole with a triple bogey.  I tried shaking the bad hole off me, but two holes later I ran into more trouble. Too much club on the tenth hole carried over the green and took a 20 yard kick into a hazard, from there I hit a great recovery shot but it hit the collar of the green and shot over it. I walked away with a double and at this point I had a really tough time shrugging it off me. I kept fighting but nothing would drop. A combination of some bad shots and bad breaks, and I ended the round with the highest score I have shot all year, 80.

With my first two rounds I was looking great in the field, and all I really had to do was not to ‘blow up’. Unfortunately, that was exactly what I did and from a position as 10th I moved all the way down to 65th, right on the cut line. What I had managed to do was making it so much harder for myself than it had to be after those first two days. However, after evaluating the day I knew what I had to do on the final day – take it one shot at a time and trust that my game was there. After all I had actually played good golf the whole time, but just had two really bad holes.

My strategy for the final round paid off. It was really windy on the final day which made it hard, but I kept hitting good shots and giving myself chances. I finished the round feeling great with a 69 and moved up to tied for 20th, 6 shots ahead of the cut line. In other words I made it to final stage of the LPGA Qualifier!!! :)

I am so happy to have made it through, and proud of myself for delivering on that final round, when I needed to. Now I have a big move to Scottsdale Arizona in front of me in less than a week, and then it is time to prepare for qualifying school. It has been a good year, and no matter what happens at third stage, I can only get more experienced, and hopefully with an LPGA card in hand!