I wake up today celebrating my 23rd birthday. I was truly hoping to be celebrating on the golf course, but once again I will be headed to the practice facility to prepare for next week after an early Friday exit. After rounds of 74, 76 I missed the cut by 4 at the years fourth major. However, my string of frustrating golf actually started last week in Michigan when I missed the weekend by only a single shot.
The Meijer Classic held in Grand Rapids, Michigan was a new event held at Blythefield Country Club. A traditional, 85 year old club that was perfect for an LPGA event. There were so many good things going on last week. My coach and his wife came up to celebrate their anniversary by watching me golf, I had a friend from Florida and a friend from Clark come to watch, and I had a fantastic host family. On top of all that I was hitting the ball great. After shooting even par the first day, I was in great position to have a solid week. However, golf can so quickly turn good or bad and for me it went south in a hurry with two 3-putts on the back nine. It was the first time that I missed by only one shot and it was truly gut wrenching to not wake up and not play on Saturday. I knew that all aspects of my game were good, but I began to think about the cut line a little too much, and under that pressure I became too tense and tentative. One of my biggest focuses right now is learning to play the same whether I am six under or six over. The week in Michigan validated how valuable being able to stay in the present and sticking to an aggressive game plan will be one of the keys to me being successful out here.
So, I came to New York feeling good about my game and excited to be competing in my second major. By the time Thursday rolls around I am usually very positive about the start of a new week again. However, during Tuesday’s practice round I started hitting the ball pretty poorly. I didn’t want to think too much of it and make a problem where there wasn’t one, so I took it as the result of being a bit exhausted and losing some focus in the treacherously long practice round. The next day I played was Thursday, and when I hit it equally as terrible I knew that something was going on. One of the benefits of having the same coach for 17 years is that I can send him some videos and he immediately sends one back with directions for what needs to be done. I won’t get into the boring details of the mechanics of the golf swing, but I had worked back into an old habit that was not beneficial to my ball striking.
After three buckets of balls after Thursday’s round, I decided it was probably best for me to go home, get some rest, and then come back out on Friday morning to do a little swing work before my actual warmup for Friday’s round. There is a find balance during playing days to practice enough, but not so much that by the time you hit the back nine you aren’t physically or mentally exhausted. I would have preferred to stand there like a robot and hit until a better swing path was grooved in, but it wasn’t the time. I still had to focus on being ready to play.
If you followed live scoring, you know that Friday was a tough day and I actually shot worse than Thursday. With that being said I actually hit more good shots than Thursday, just didn’t make as many long putts. At this point, just hitting some solid irons into the green was probably more important than “luckily” shooting a good score. I definitely saw some better shots on Friday over Thursday, but still have a long ways to go before I tee it up this coming Thursday in the Canadian Women’s Open.
While I really wish I was playing today, it is still my birthday and my mom and our friend, Tami Nelson, are here and I know they will help me celebrate. After some good hours on the range I know we will find something fun to do. Tomorrow I will leave for Canada via charter bus (living the dream, eh?) and get ready for a good week. I feel it is getting harder and harder to stay positive when I have only made 2 of the last 10 cuts. However, I know better than anyone that one good week can change a lot of things. My goal next week is not only to find a better swing, but to stay positive and enjoy the opportunity I have to play against the best in the world. I feel I am doing all the right things, and if I don’t run out of patience I think I will see it pay off.
I know its not fun watching those bogeys, but I thank everyone for their continued support. Here’s to a great birthday and to better week in Canada. :)
Megan, Danny, and I during Monday practice round.
Our fantastic host mom for the week, Holly! :)
We meet some great people on the road. Before our pro-am party, a friend of our host family, Mr. Workman, took us to the upstairs of this awesome wine and liquor store. Very cool experience!! We then continued on to the pro am party in his motor home!
Wine for days…
If you grew up in the 80’s, I thought you might enjoy a little “Back to the Future” flashback.
My longtime coach and his wife Susan. Thanks for spending your anniversary weekend with me! You guys are truly the best!! :)
Birthday celebration in New York. Lots of good friends and family out here on the road. Thank you guys for sticking out the hour and a half wait to enjoy some good food with me!