Hello, everybody. I write this morning from my host family’s home in Prattville, Alabama. I had a long travel day yesterday and unfortunately didn’t get my clubs. Travel days are not the best time, but it is an off day and I try to take advantage of a day away from the course and just relax a bit. My must haves when I travel are my kindle with a good book and a fully charged phone and headphones for music. I recently finished Andre Agassi’s autobiography “Open.” If you have never read it and want an extremely good look inside professional sports I would highly recommend it. It was an outstanding book.
I’ve spent the last two weeks in the Northwest and this area never disappoints. The weather is absolutely perfect, the cities are fun, and the sightseeing is so good. The first week of this stretch was the Portland Classic. I played well at this course last year and came out strong on Thursday and Friday this year. It was a great start, but was followed by a pretty crushing weekend. While starting well is nice, it really doesn’t mean much if you finish poorly and vice versa. I get a ton of messages after each round if I play well, and its great because I can feel all the support, but sometimes I think people forget that round one is just round one. It’s the first quarter. If we start talking about outcome and great finishes before the second quarter has even started I’ll quickly lose sight of what I need to be focusing on in the present. Just think of it this way, you would never run down to the locker room after the first quarter of a basketball game and start congratulating the team thats leading. Why do we seem to do that so much in golf then? In order for me to stay in the present and focused on my ultimate goal (hitting each shot the best that I can) I’m going to take the advice a fellow veteran player and friend gave me and respond to message at the conclusion of the week. So, please, keep sending! Just know that I see them and will get back to you after play has finished. :)
While I was extremely frustrated with how I hit the ball on the weekend in Portland, I did celebrate another birthday on the 16th. The big 2 – 4. Only one more year until the big 2 – 5, and you know what that means. Yep, no more underage rental car prices. Let the countdown begin.
I left Portland for Canada late Sunday night and before I even took off we were having issues. A friend from the tour and I were given a condo that a member from the club wanted to let us use. Great! We were very excited. That is, until my friend got there and the place was a disaster. So I’m still in Portland about to board my flight, she is in Vancouver in a condo she wants to get us out of, and there isn’t a hotel available for the whole week in the entire city. Well, while these sort of travel problems occur all the time amongst tour pros and caddies, it doesn’t make them any less stressful. By the time I landed in Vancouver, we had been taken in by the tournament housing chair and her husband. They were absolute saviors. I mention this not only because these are the things that people never see us deal with, but also to say a big thanks to Brian and Sharon. We so enjoyed staying at your place and THANK YOU for taking us in with no notice whatsoever.
The Canadian Open is definitely the biggest tournament behind our 5 majors. It is always on a great course and in a great city and Golf Canada runs it as their own major. This course, Vancouver Golf Club, was built into a mountain and thus was hilly to walk on the front with some extremely sloped greens. I was feeling a better week than Portland and was at my wits end when I couldn’t stop hitting thin iron after thin iron. To be honest, I have no idea how I squeezed onto the right side of the cut line. I woke up Saturday feeling a bit rejuvenated because I was playing two more days; but much to my disappointment, the ball striking did not improve. I sent my second set of videos from the week to my coach and he knew we had to find out what was going wrong and get back on track. It’s not easy when we aren’t working together in person, but it can almost always be done. Before I went to bed on Saturday he sent back a video explaining why I was hitting so many thin irons and what I needed to do to make it better. I didn’t have much time to practice Sunday before my round, but when I got to the range to warm up I immediately knew that I was going to hit it better. If you are wanting to play this game for a living you better have someone on your team that you can call and they can help fix your problems without guessing. You don’t have time to spend weeks “searching” for the solution. You can’t afford to. You can find yourself off the tour as quickly as you found yourself on it. My score on Sunday wasn’t spectacular, I was finding the rough too often off the tee, but I’m looking forward to Prattville this week and at least hitting some quality golf shots with a much better chance for a solid week.
My mom and sister joined me in Vancouver and it ended up being a great city to have family visit. We did some birthday shopping and even found time to enjoy zip lining on Grouse Mountain. I think if you are ever in British Columbia you HAVE to do something in the mountains, the experience and the views are just second to none.
Prattville will be the final full field LPGA event of the season this week. Any girls outside the top 100 are fighting for their card next year and a trip to France for the Evian in two weeks. After Evian they will make the cutoff for all Asia events. There are five events starting in October and I hope to play them all if I qualify. Like last year, it is somewhere around 60-70 on the money list that will get in to each event.
Here’s to a great week ahead of us all!
Dinner at the Portland City Grill. A must in Portland!
View from the Portland City Grill – 30 floors up.
Birthday dinner at Salty’s! Thankful for these people on tour!
Grouse Mountain – Vancouver
Before the final round of the Canadian Open. Always fun when mom and sis come :)