The basement

Good morning everybody. I write to you today from another very rainy and dreary day in France. I just got back from a morning workout which I counterbalanced with a chocolate croissant. The first of many today I am sure.

If I am up writing a blog on Sunday thats usually not a good sign. This time is no exception. It’s been a tough last stretch of events in which I have missed 3/4 cuts by one shot. I wish I had something profound to say, but all I can tell you is that times like these just really suck.

Three weeks ago I played the Canadian Open in Calgary and missed by one. I didn’t get a practice round but that really wasn’t an excuse. I played well on Thursday and when Friday came and I made a couple bogeys I mentally wasn’t prepared for it. I was super disappointed in myself but I learned a lot that week and used it to prepare for the next. When Thursday of Manulife rolled around I had a very specific plan for how I would approach the day and although my “A” game wasn’t there I was still able to make the cut and play 4 days. It was much like what I experienced in Toledo, reminding me how important the mental side of the game is each and every tournament and each and every shot.

I spent my off week in Sweden with my friend Elin and her family and had the best time. We had great weather, great golf courses, and so many great people to meet. After 5 years of friendship I finally got to see where she is from. A big thank you to the Arvidssons for being such wonderful hosts.🙂

I flew from Sweden to France on Sunday making this my third trip to the Evian Championship; our fifth and final major of the year. This is a course that is definitely made easier with experience and I felt I actually turned the corner from playing defensive and frightened out here to enjoying the challenge and embracing it. However, I still let the greens get to me. My ball striking was very solid but by the time Friday came I was so tentative on my putts I couldn’t make a two footer. It was heartbreaking to be in the moment and watch yourself give it away. There are a lot of up and downs in every season on tour, but I would have to say I felt this was my lowest point so far (hopefully all year). My focus this year has been on my mental game and playing in big situations and I just felt I completely failed.

I’ve had two days to think about it and of course, with time, every situation gets better little by little. Looking forward I know there are some positives I can be excited about. One, there are no more cuts this year that have to be made. The remaining events are limited field. Two, I’m going to get several (maybe all) starts in Asia, starting in two weeks with Beijing, giving me many more chances to play well. Finally, I know I have all the tools I need both technically and mentally to play this game and play it well. I just have to go back to the drawing board and find the formula that is going to work best and then practice being disciplined enough to do it week in and week out. Always easier said than done.🙂

For now I’m going to try and enjoy my last day in France, my off week at home, and start preparing for Asia.

Best,
KK

 

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Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Canada.

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Lake Moraine, Banff National Park. Stunning view!

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Huey Lewis and the News.. the number one reason my mother attended this event I’m pretty sure.

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Red Day for heart health at the Manulife Classic.  If there was some sort of award…

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My two biggest fans in Kitchener! Thanks to these guys for being such great hosts. See you next year!🙂

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Golf in Halmstad, Sweden with these two Swedes.  What a relaxing day of fun golf.  Not something I get too often anymore.🙂

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Gothenburg, Sweden.

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We took a trip to an amusement park in Gothenburg and realized we are a bunch of chickens.

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Afternoon snack in Sweden🙂

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The views in Evian are hard to beat.

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Sunday night pro am party with two of my favorites.

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Traditional practice round with Ms. Tamulis.

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Chamonix, France.  THE cutest little ski town I’ve ever been to.

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At least we made the most of our Saturday off.. a cold and rainy day in Chamonix but much fun was had!

Meeting Mr. Nicklaus

Good morning everybody. I write to you from the Sioux Falls airport today where I have currently set up camp waiting for my 7 am flight that is departing sometime this afternoon now. The joys of travel really never stop. Thankfully I have my mom with me to keep me company.

I haven’t played an event in three weeks but have some great things to write about today. First, a tough British Open to swallow. Second, a once in a lifetime day spent in the presence of Jack Nicklaus. Let’s start with the British Open.

Woburn Golf Club – Woburn, England. They called it the British Open, it felt like the Canadian Open, and I loved it in every way. Tree lined and a bit on the short side with zero pot belly bunkers, I felt it set up perfectly for my game. I sat just outside the cutline after a so-so day 1 and knew i needed either even par or -1 to see the weekend. I played the afternoon on Friday and watched the cut sit at even par nearly the entire day. I fluctuated a little bit but after a great birdie on the 14 (bouncing back from a double on the 12) I was at +1 and felt a lot of momentum, but was dying to see the cut line go to +1. I par the 15th and am sitting in the fairway on 16. Pin on the right, bunker right. My mind told me to hit the center of the green, but subconsciously I wanted it at the pin so I pushed it straight into the bunker. Short sided and frustrated with my lack of discipline I walked up to the green and watched the volunteer change the cut line to plus 1. Unbelievable timing. I hit a great sand shot to about six feet but pushed my putt to the right. Something I struggled with a bit all week. After pars on 17 and 18 I would miss the cut by 1 shot. Some weeks you just walk away with some big lessons learned, this was one of those weeks.

With a weekend off we spent it exploring the city of London. I had never been and it was a great way to get my mind off the game for awhile. We did the touristy things and also the local things. We took in a show on the West End which was the one thing I really wanted to do. I posted some good photos below so you can enjoy looking at those instead of me telling you about it.🙂

While I often have many great experiences on the golf course, my off weeks are usually a little more on the uneventful side. This past week was an exception to the rule. I was invited to participate in the Sanford Classic at Sutton Bay as part of my partnership with Sanford Health. An event with about 60 people raising money for stem cell research. It was an incredible group of people all around with the likes of Andy North, Tom Weiskopf, and Fred Hoiberg as celebrity guests. However, the whole event elevates to another level when Jack Nicklaus rolls in on Wednesday night.

On Thursday morning Andy North lead a walking clinic down the 16th hole with Mr. Nicklaus sharing his insight along the way. When we got to the green Andy asked me to come up and give some advice on the green. So, there I was, telling a group of 60 players how I approach a putt with the greatest of all time standing 6 feet to my left. Enter panic attack mode here. After we finished we all went out and played the event and the final four teams played a shootout at the end. I was lucky to get in with my team and we played alongside Mr. Nicklaus for two holes. What an honor. I will never forget the day I met Jack Nicklaus or the things he said. The places I find myself thru the game of golf are just amazing sometimes. I love what I do, but more importantly I love the people I meet and the connections I make. Sanford health is one of those connections and I don’t know if there is a better company to represent.

It was back to reality this morning as I focus on what is next for me. Canadian Open this week, Manulife Classic next, and the Evian in two weeks. These will be the final three events before the cut off for the limited field events in Asia. I am sitting in a good position now, but a lot can happen in three weeks so its time to play well!

Follow along🙂
KK

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Coldplay in Chicago for Elin’s birthday!

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Prepared for the downpour and thankful that we were.

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I love Europe and these amazing old buildings!

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Thanks for this.

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Bus tour with Auds and Missy.

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Parliament

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Big Ben🙂

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London Eye

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Lunch with this crew.  Fun times walking around the market with the locals.

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Some impressive street performers.

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Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

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Back in Sioux Falls and meeting up with my sister for a fun dinner.🙂

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That Sutton Bay sunset never gets old!

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Two days of golf well spent with Bob Greenberg and John Cleary who came from Minnesota. Great way to celebrate my birthday!

 

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Andy North leading off the walking clinic for the Sanford Classic.

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Just a casual fan.😉

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Me and Jack Nicklaus.  I will keep this photo for a very very long time.🙂

Learning to Persevere

Good morning, everyone! I know I am way overdue in writing a new blog, but it was British Open week so my mornings were quite full. I know ya’ll understand.😉 What an incredible duel between Stenson and Mickelson. I think it is hard to comprehend how good of golf those two played. They literally lapped the field out there. Golf is just so good right now.

While I didn’t shoot -20 and win the British Open this week I feel pretty good about my game as well. I know I usually recap all the tournaments since my last blog but today I just want to talk about what I have learned these last two weeks. They say that the learning process is often long plateaus with little bits of growth in-between. These last couple of weeks I felt I was in a period of growth and it is such a great feeling.

Last week was, of course, the US Women’s Open in California; this week was the Marathon Classic in Toledo. Very different events with incredibly different feels. My game was even quite opposite. I hit the ball incredibly well at the Open 3/4 days and putted like a champ. I arrived in Toledo and had a case of the lefts. I have never relied so much on my chipping and see it come thru as it did in Toledo. So, why did I feel like I made such an improvement in my game?

Let’s start with the US Open. Major number 3. Currently sitting 0/2 on major cuts this year and had not played real well for a couple of weeks. I knew this could be a big week and really help out my season. I started out cruising, three under thru ten. I mean at that point I felt if I didn’t win by 5 it would have been a tragedy.😉 However, I made the turn as the afternoon wind picked up and I was caught up in what is traditionally knows as “US Open conditions.” I finished the day +3 and outside the cut-line after day 1. I was in awe at how I could feel like I played so well but score so poorly.

I would tee off the next day in the morning so I knew I had better conditions, but also needed to play really well. The turning point came for me when I hit my drive on the 5th into the water. Proceeded to make bogey and stand +1 on the day (already) and +4 for the tournament. Frustrated with myself and visualizing all the tough holes coming up I had two choices: throw in the towel and shoot a million or persevere and fight for every single shot that I could. It’s easier said than done. Every competitive golfer and especially professionals believe that we always fight for every shot, but do we really? I can only speak for myself and say that there are times where I probably haven’t. I proceeded to make 3 birdies on the back for a nice little -2 on the day. It sure looks simple looking at that scorecard, but it was a huge step for me. We all want to come out on day 2 after a rocky day 1 and just make birdies. We NEVER imagine adding even more to our score over par. However golf doesn’t always go the way you want, but thats why we play 18 holes, theres always more chances for birdies. I played with that same fight for the rest of the week and finished a personal best T-32 at the US Open. I made bogeys, doubles, hit more balls in the hazard, and a couple balls off the map, but I didn’t let it stop me. You can always find a way to make par. In the US Open, sometimes par is all you can ask for.😀

I came to Toledo Monday and was absolutely exhausted. The US Open course was very long and very hilly. I felt like I had run a marathon every day. I did hardly anything on Tuesday and actually spent quite a bit of time in the physio trailer getting my knee worked on. It was all good by Thursday and shouldn’t be any problems from here on out so no worries!🙂 If you followed my round on Thursday at all you will see I hit 7 greens and shot -1. Wow. I’m not even sure how that happened. It’s like I had the spirit of Phil and his 64 degree flop wedge in my body. I’m not sure where it came from but it was sure helpful. So, I found myself thinking of the previous week at the Open and realizing I could do the same thing here even if I wasn’t hitting it well at all. I knew the course, loved the course, and just wasn’t going to go home on Friday. In fact, my coach and I talked on Thursday and both decided that I could still turn this into a great week, and I did! While I came out on Friday and hit the ball much better than Thursday, I was still trying to work out a little glitch in my swing which still caused some errant shots. I didn’t care, I was either getting it up and down or taking my bogey and moving on. More holes to be birdied. I finished T-11, one spot from tying my best finish of the year and another top ten. Nonetheless, I was extremely happy with how I finished and how for the second week in a row I made the absolute most out of each round and the event.

I’ve been playing golf for 20 years this year. I’ve been playing professionally for 4. It doesn’t matter how long if you stop learning and growing. My hope is that in another 20 years I have 20 new things that I have learned. It’s a tough game, but sometimes you just have to be tougher.

UL International Crown is this week. If you like Ryder Cup/Solheim Cup team golf then you should tune in this weekend. 8 countries will be fighting for top honors. Next week we will be off to the British Open at Woburn, just outside of London. I’ve been a bit timid when it comes to playing British Opens the past two years but am really looking forward to it now if I can keep the same mentality I have had these past two weeks.

Thank you for all the kind messages of support these past couple weeks.🙂

Have a great week!
KK

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Some fun playing at home with this crew.  I don’t get to do it enough anymore!

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I was fortunate to play in an outing hosted by Tommy Thayer of Kiss.  Honored to listen to him and his friends put on an incredible show!

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Tommy Thayer, Heather Bowie, Danah Bordner, and myself at the end of the night.  We look exhausted. Haha

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Found this girl in Portland and she officially wins cutest fan of the year award. Hands down.

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Thanks to my long lost cousin Cody for coming out as my number 1 fan in Portland again!  He always brings me some good luck!

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US Open dream team right there.😉   Couldn’t do it without these two!

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Always great to have my dad out for the US Open.  A great tradition.🙂

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My fan club on Sunday that made the drive all the way from San Francisco.  Thank you guys!!!

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Audrey and I hosted our first player/caddie bowling tournament in Toledo.  I was totally bummed I couldn’t bowl because of my knee, but I’ll be working hard for next year.😉

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Thank you so much to these two wonderful ladies for hosting me again and my mom this year.  Ya’ll bring me good luck in Toledo!

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Me and mom.  Need to work on outfit coordination next year.🙂

Sahallway

Good morning from Seattle! For once, I’m actually writing from a new city and that doesn’t happen very often anymore. It’s been over 4 weeks since I last wrote and up until this week we have been playing some good golf.

I have one week left of this five week stretch that started in Kingsmill 4 weeks ago. Every time I play Kingsmill I like it more and more. It’s just such a well designed track that is scorable but challenging in the most perfect way. The past two years I had either missed the cut or made the cut and finished pretty low. This year I was striking the ball pretty well and finished around t30.

After Kingsmill we actually had a new event on the schedule held in Ann Arbor. I know there are some Ohio State fans reading this blog, but I have to give credit to Ann Arbor – awesome college town. We played at Travis Point Country Club that was tight off the tee and had very firm greens. Overall it was pretty fun to play and I think I will definitely go back next year. I felt like I gave a lot of shots away and didn’t take advantage of some of the reachable par 5’s but had a pretty solid finish just inside the top 30. We left Sunday night and made our way to Philadelphia and then on to Atlantic City – my favorite regular season course all year.🙂

I love the Stockton Seaview in Atlantic City and will say that every year. I stayed with great friends right on the range, took in a great concert at one of the casinos, and finished top 15 in a 3 day event. The week can’t get much better than that. I was actually struggling a bit with my irons at the start of the week but was able to hold it together and get around the course. I also had several friends come over and watch me play that I met at the US Open last year. It still amazes me that no matter where I’m playing in the world I almost always have somebody coming out to watch me that I know.

We played early on Sunday because of the threat of rain which gave us some time to explore Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon. I’m not sure why I had a bad image of Philly in my head, but the city was awesome! So much history and things to do, I hope I get back there again soon. We left early Monday morning on a direct flight to Seattle where our preparations for the second major of the year would start as soon as we could get from the airport to the golf course. Sahalee Golf Club, or “Sahallway” as we like to call it,  how can I describe you? Tough, tight, difficult, hard? I’ve played a lot of difficult courses/conditions all over the world but I have to say this little gem on the east side of Seattle is the most difficult test of golf I had ever faced. We knew before we even landed on the west coast that the key was to keep it in the fairway from off the tee. However, sometimes that wasn’t even enough, sometimes you needed to keep it in the right 6 yards of fairway to have a shot at the green. That was a real fun hole. Well, I had three good days of prep with my coach and to be honest I did a great job off the tee, but had a couple of costly iron shots my first day that took what felt like a great round and turned it into an average round. I went out on Friday feeling pretty confident but couldn’t get a single birdie putt to drop and would miss the cut by 2. After three solid weeks in a row it really kills me to be sitting at home on the weekend. However, there are still lots of events left, including three majors, and I’m as excited as ever to go back to Michigan tomorrow and tee it up next week.

I’ll keep the blog short this week but make up for it in pictures.🙂 Thanks to everyone that is following along on the tour this year. It means the world to me!  I’ll play this coming week in Grand Rapids but am taking off the week of Arkansas for a much needed break at home.

Until next time,
KK

 

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#17 at Kingsmill

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LPGA commercial shoot in the dark..

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Elin even made a surprise appearance.  Good times in Williamsburg with this girl.🙂

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Sometimes we coordinate well. #KrisandCameltakeAnnArbor

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The Big House.  It was pretty big.

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Hanging with my South Dakota peeps in Ann Arbor. Small world🙂

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Little Big Town and Luke Bryan in Atlantic City.. Thanks for the tickets Kendall Dye!

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The most famous landmark in Philly might be the famous steps from Rocky.  I’m sure the Liberty Bell is a close second.

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We went to see some actual history as well.  :)

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Me and Auds out for a casual stroll in Seattle.  I think this photo was taken so Todd could prove he was actually keeping pace ahead of me for once.

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Pike Place market in downtown Seattle.  A must to go and see them throw fish if ever in Seattle.

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The original Starbucks. No, I didn’t wait in line for it..

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Great view of the city as we take the Ferry to Bainbridge island.

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We spent the afternoon on a little 9 mile bike trip. (big hills, lost map, and lots of rain didn’t keep us from having a good time😉

Time-Out

Good afternoon from Prattville, AL, everyone. I wish I could say I just finished my round here but instead I am starting my off week a little early. It’s been a very long 4 weeks since I last checked in and have had a lot of good and bad happen in that time.

Last time I wrote I believe I was en route to Hawaii for the Lotte Championship. I like Hawaii and have always played well there, but per tradition I woke up on Tuesday with my standard Hawaii illness. Sore throat, ear aches, and congestion. Every. Single. Year. l went straight to the doctor and got on a prescription to try and kick it. I had an afternoon start on Thursday which was helpful but on the 6th hole I was about 100 yards from my tee shot and I knew that I wasn’t going to make it. I was going to pass out. So, I learned a new rule that week in that if you need medical attention you have officially 15 minutes once the medics arrive. So, I chilled over in the rough under the shade of a palm tree while two groups were allowed to play thru and I waited for medics. At that time I thought to myself, there is absolutely no way I can get up and play 12 more holes. However, after a bottle of gatorade and the determination by medics that I was experiencing some serious dehydration (aided by the cold medicine and prescriptions) they gave me a strict fluid intake schedule for the remainder of my round. I got up, birdied the hole, and actually shot the best round of the week for me. Amazing what you can do when you just keep going.

The rest of the week seemed like a breeze compared to Thursday and I nearly sneaked into the top 20. However, I was happy with where I finished and felt my game was in a great spot. I was also extremely lucky to have a great friend along for the week who let me stay in her condo right on the course. So thankful for people like her in my life. Thank you, Tami!

I took the dreaded 6 hour red eye out of Honolulu Saturday night and arrived in San Francisco Sunday morning. After a quick nap I met Audrey and my friend, Kris, for some San Fran site seeing (a.k.a Operation: Don’t fall asleep before 8 pm). I finally saw the Golden Gate Bridge, from about 7 different angles in fact, and have to say it truly is a beautiful sight to see. Todd came out on Monday for a few days so we even snuck in Alcatraz on Wednesday afternoon. San Francisco is an extremely tough city to navigate and drive in and I don’t think I could ever live there, but for the week it offers us so many fun things to do.

I had an interesting week golf wise in San Fran. I played a pretty solid day 1 and went out on day 2 with zero game. The wind started to really blow and if your game isn’t sharp its going to be a long day. I walked off the course in 94th place, had lunch, cleaned out my locker, and called my friends in Dallas to tell them I was coming in early. Much to my surprise, the wind continued to whip and I continued to rise closer an closer to the right side of the cut line. Sometimes your game gets really hot when you’re sitting on the couch.😉 By the end of Friday I was T-65 and had an early morning Saturday tee time! Two days later I went from changing my flight to a T-27 finish. Moral of the story: don’t ever give up.

I left San Fran and my awesome new host family (and new friends) on another red eye to Dallas Sunday night. Who booked all these red eyes!? My mom also came in on Monday to spend the week with me. I hadn’t seen her since Phoenix so was looking forward to it. I had a busy week between preparing for the event and doing some apartment shopping for my move to Ft. Worth. In the end I succeeded at the apartment shopping part and failed at the tournament part. It was a rough week. The highlight was by far the all star pairing I had in Se Ri Pak and Juli Inkster. I had not played with either player before and with Se Ri retiring this year I’m very glad I had the opportunity. I stuck around Dallas for the weekend and played in the Angela Stanford “Shine Your Light” pro-am on Monday. I was so happy to be part of her cause this year and just had a great time hanging out with such a fun group of players.

I came to Prattville with some great memories from the past two years and was looking for a nice bounce back week. We had nice days to prepare and a great pro am on Wednesday. I had a late tee time Thursday with an early tee time Friday (my favorite) so it was setting up to be a good week. My swing felt better, and I put a lot of time into my short game early in the week. All was feeling good until I spent all of Wednesday night awake with food poisoning. If I would have had a Thursday morning tee time I would have WD for sure. Thankfully, I had several hours in the morning to get a little rest and manage to eat a piece of toast. I don’t think it was the lack of food that was the hardest but more the lack of sleep. Fortunately, I also had some good girls in my group that I knew pretty well so they didn’t mind when I just sat on the fringe unit it was my turn to putt. ha! I kept having these weird deja vu flashbacks to Hawaii and thinking, if this is karma for something I did I’m really sorry and hope I have paid my dues now. So we carried on. I finished at plus 3 after Friday’s round and really thought I had a pretty good chance to play the weekend but the cut line didn’t move a single shot on Friday. Incredible. I would miss by one. I know I had food poisoning, and I know I didn’t feel great at all, but if I am out there I fully expect to still compete. I expect to make the cut and to have a few good days to move up. If you’re out there, theres no excuses.

So I woke up this morning in Prattville without a tee time and without much purpose for the day. It’s always strange to wake up in a random city and not have a purpose. I thought I would go to the gym and practice but honestly am feeling a little mid season burn out right now so I took the day off. Maybe I’ll take a couple (rare for me). I have next week at home in South Dakota and am looking forward to the mix of down time and practicing at familiar places. I know Todd and I will have some good practice sessions and get things back in line. It feels like our entire season is crammed into these next two months so I know I need some good weeks. Perseverance is key, and as I learned in Hawaii, you just have to keep going.

Happy (early) Mother’s Day!
KK

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15th floor view.

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Last night in Hawaii.. great sunset.🙂

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Thank you, Tami, for making Hawaii so much fun this year! Glad we didn’t only play six holes!😉

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GGB on a perfectly clear day.

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Swinging Skirts —-> Lots of artwork!

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Todd, me, and Kris.

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When your friend endearingly nicknames you “Camel.”

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Pro am Gala at San Francisco city hall with Joanna Klatten!

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Inside Alcatraz.

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Outside Alcatraz.

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So much fun with these guys! Thanks Clark, Karol, and Andee!

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Always make time for one of my best friends from college!  Will love being closer to the Hopes in Texas!!

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Last night in Dallas.  My cousin Tony and his girlfriend Jamie and my cousin Lauren with me and my mom. Couldn’t believe they came all the way to Dallas to watch me play!  Made me so happy! :))

Moving Forward

It was an early wake up call in Orlando today as I catch an early flight to Hawaii. As usual, my off week seemed busier than my event weeks. I can’t complain when the cause is getting up at 5 am to go to the Masters, though. I’ve had some ups and downs these past three weeks but one of the things I love most about Masters week is that even for LPGA players it provides a lot of motivation! I am more than ready to get to Hawaii and compete next week.

I played three weeks in a row starting with Phoenix and was pumped to notch my first top ten of the season. With an 18 under total I think it’s a new personal low scoring record. So many good things going on that week but most importantly I had tons of family and friends there to enjoy the great week with. I think Phoenix will become one of those pivotal weeks in my season every year. I like the conditions, I like the course, and I go there with such good vibes. I put a new Callaway XR driver and a new “A” wedge in the bag and needless to say they earned a permanent spot. I also did some work with my Vision54 coaches as they got to watch me play in competition for the first time. The more I work with them the more I realize how truly great they are at their craft and how thankful I am to have them on my team. Just one or two small suggestions can make a world of difference. I’m so excited to continue my mental training with them and to see where it can lead.

Even though I played some great golf I continued to work on a few swing and putting changes with Todd that I’ve been working on for awhile. The hardest thing to do when playing well is to not become complacent. After watching the Masters this week we should all know that golf is a funny game. A 68 one day can easily be a 78 the next! The score doesn’t determine how well the process is going, only you can decide that.

We played the Kia Championship after Phoenix and I made a conscience effort to get out and see a little more of the San Diego area this year. When I got there on Monday I went out with Audrey and some friends and hiked Torrey Pines. My GPS was obviously confused because it took me straight to Torrey Pines Golf Club instead; but even us die hards need a change of pace from time to time. It was a beautiful hike and a great way to reset after a long week in Phoenix. I also checked out the town of Carslbad a bit and if you ever get the chance be sure to go. It’s the perfect sea side village, a Coldstone included.

I have a love-hate relationship with Aviara Golf Club, the course we play the Kia Championship on. I think it sets up well to my eye, has plenty of birdie opportunities, and is a beautiful walk. However, I have found myself hovering at the cut line both years I have played. It’s funny how you can go from the excitement of being in contention and finishing top ten the week before to the excitement of finishing birdie-par to make the cut on the number. A two putt par doesn’t usually receive such a celebration. Needless to say, I was happy to get two more rounds in and salvage a solid event. I think Aviara is a course that you have to play enough times to figure out. I am up for the challenge, though, and look forward to getting better there every year.

I drove up to Palm Springs on Monday feeling great about the first major of the year. I was hitting it well, putting well, and was just generally excited to keep playing. Unfortunately, I had a lot of negative thoughts about the course after my experience last year and played very scared on Thursday. It was the first time this year I really feel that I took a couple steps backwards. After Thursday’s roundI reassessed some of the things I was doing out there and made some Vision54 changes for Friday. I saw the benefit in my putting but still just didn’t get the ball in the hole. I left early on Saturday morning and if nothing else I at least new that next year I must rethink how I approach this event and this course and will call in the help of Vision54 to retrain my brain on how I think about this event. I actually believe this course sets up well for my game, I just have to retrain my mind to fully commit to what I believe.

Per tradition I drove straight to Georgia when I got home and spent a couple of days at the happiest place on Earth: Augusta National Golf Club. My friend, Emily, and I are quickly becoming expert patrons. We are thinking of publishing a spectator assistance pamphlet. Best parking, best chair placement spots, when to shop, when to eat, what to eat- we really are nailing this thing down. This year a good friend of mine was back at Augusta as a caddie manager so we were extremely lucky to hang out with him and learn so much about the property and the tournament. We even hung out in the caddie house to the right of the range. My goal for the week was to meet Smylie Kaufman (no, there’s no relation). I did one better when he just happened to be sitting there with his caddie and family as I was taking his caddie bib out to take a picture. Needless to say I was caught red handed but he was more than happy to chat and get in on the pic with me. It made for a great story and I think I brought him some luck. Cheering hard from 30,000 feet today for Team Kaufman!

Well my plane is boarding soon and I think I’ve been rambling long enough. Game feels good, I’m ready to compete after a nice break, and Hawaii is calling my name!

Until next time,
KK

 

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Sat between 11 and 12 for a long time on Tuesday.  Watched Paul Casey make a hole in one!

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These flowers…🙂

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So great to catch up with good friend and great caddie, Brodie Large.  Hope we can make this part of our Masters tradition.

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My Masters partner in crime.. couldn’t imagine attending with anybody else!

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Little Phil and Webb action on the putting green.

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Jack playing his final Par 3.  Was trying to keep the Ohio State grad from storming the fairway at this point.😉

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Team Kaufman finally united.  Probably my favorite pic from the week!

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Bri and Ashley down in Phoenix.  Been awhile since this group has been together.🙂

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Hiking Torrey Pines with some of my faves!

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Had to get a little yoga action in with these views.😉

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Surprise of the week at the Kia.  Former college teammates Alex and Deb surprising me on the range on Friday!  Miss these two a lot!

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Love when my best friend come and spends the week.  So many good times with Elin at the ANA and can’t wait for her to be on the LPGA full time.

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Around the World (in 24 days!)

Hello from 40,000 feet. I can’t tell you exactly where I am but we just left Germany and since there is some wifi on board I thought I would update my blog.🙂 I’ve travelled a lot of miles these past three weeks and am finally home bound. T-8 hours to JFK.🙂
Australia is quickly becoming one of my favorite places I travel to. We spent the week in Adelaide this year and its just hard to find something to complain about. The city is fun, the weather is warm and dry, and the golf course is always fantastic. If this tournament had a higher purse it might actually get the credit it deserves. It is by far the most underrated event we play all year. Yes, when I boarded that flight from LAX to Brisbane I had 14 hours to wonder why I thought it was a good idea to make such a long journey for such a small purse; but, when I get there its totally worth it. We had a strong start on Thursday but by mid round Friday I was fighting to stay alive. I birdied my 16th hole and finished with two pars to make the cut on the number. The week ended and although sad to leave such a great place I was ready to go to Thailand where I had played the course before and had seen some success.

Thailand was the same as always. It’s like a cultural shockwave the minute you step out into the airport and you realize we aren’t in Australia anymore. I got in late Monday night and got out Tuesday to play the back nine and practice as early as I could. Practice, gym session, foot massage, dinner. The daily routine doesn’t usually change much overseas. However, my caddie did drag me out to see the floating market in the afternoon and it was totally worth it. It’s hard to describe Asian markets but its really a whole bunch of stores selling hand made things or knock offs. I wouldn’t say it is pretty or clean, but its real. Sometimes you need to get out of the resort and see what real life looks like in these countries. There’s also food vendors that sell local foods (some edible and some not so edible), and this particular one is placed on water, thus the term “floating.” We ate, shopped, and after we had enough we took a tuk tuk back to the hotel. 20 min of going 50 mph down the highway in the back of a pick up truck for 3 dollars a piece. What a deal.

Thailand was a bit of an up and down week again, which seems to be a theme this year. However, a solid Sunday round pushed me into the top 15 for my first top 20 of the year. I was really proud of how me and Audrey stayed patient and waited for the good play to come. I think we are making a great team and I look forward to getting out there and working with her every day. I thought I would take some momentum from Thailand into Singapore, but golf is a funny game and had different plans for my final week in Asia.

I arrived in Singapore with high expectations. I had heard SO much about this country and how wonderful it was. As usual, the girls didn’t lead me wrong; this city was amazing. We played early Tuesday and didn’t play the pro am Wednesday so I had some time to check out the city. We took a ride on the Singapore Flyer (equivalent to the London Eye), and checked out the Muslim quarter and Little India for dinner on Wednesday night. I felt there was so much more to do and see so I hope I get the privilege of coming back for many more years.

If you followed live scoring you know that you didn’t find my name at the top of the leadeboard on Thursday. An opening round of +6, 78. Ugh. You see, the beauty about a normal full field event is that there is a cut. So when you shoot 78 on Thursday you more than likely only have to play one more round on Friday and then the tournament puts you out of your misery by sending you home. In a limited field event, no matter what you shoot on Thursday, you got three more days of play staring at you. How do you refocus? How do you not let it spiral completely out of control? I could blame that 78 on many different things: new course, hot weather, slow greens, etc. But, more important than looking at all the things that didn’t go our way my caddie and I decided to make a birdie bet each day (for donuts, of course) and then decided if we finished the week at even or better that we would be happy. That is only -2 the last three days, but after shooting 78 on Thursday climbing Mt. Everest seemed easier. I sent a bunch of videos to my coach and told him how I was feeling about each part of my game. As usual, he simplified a few thoughts into some techniques that I could try out on the course.

So, we continued our week and decided to use these three days for putting these few things we were working on into practice. I saw some improvement with my putting right away and the irons came and went. I managed to shoot even both Friday and Saturday and although I didn’t improve my place much, some of the field moved closer to me. I went out on Sunday and after opening with two birdies thru three holes I had a failed up and down from the bunker followed by a three putt on the following hole for consecutive bogeys. I stood on the 6th tee and thought to myself “I’ve played this course 4 times now, it’s not that difficult.” Something clicked and I would make 5 birdies in those last 13 holes to move up about 7 places. Wow, sometimes the LPGA is tough.😉 Most importantly, though, I felt I had some of my game back and a final round 67 makes the long trip back to the US much more enjoyable.

After making my way around the entire globe these past three weeks we will now stay in the US for the next couple of months. We have this week off and then play in Phoenix, Carlsbad, and Palm Springs. I’m excited about where this season is headed and am looking forward to Phoenix and seeing a bunch of South Dakotans there!

Enjoy all the photos!,
KK

 

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The Long Bar in the Raffles Hotel – Singapore

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Practice round for the Australian Open with Joanna Klatten.

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Kris Tamulis and I volunteered for a Penfolds wine tour and photo shoot.  We found it pretty comical.

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Crepe time at the floating market.  Peanut butter, bananas, chocolate. Very American😉

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Massage time with the gang in Thailand.

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Floating market with Kris Tamulis – Thailand.

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Fish Spa!  Very funny feeling but would recommend!

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Girls in black!  With Pernilla Lindberg and Azahara Munoz – Thailand.

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Selfie with the puppet.😉

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Birthday dinner for Janet Lin and Audrey!  Famous place in Thailand that I would highly recommend.  There is a story behind the name, I promise.😉

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Third tee in Singapore.  We play alongside one of the worlds largest shipyards.  Amazing views!

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Singapore

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That’s a boat on top of that hotel and you never get tired of looking at it.

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Kris, Missy, Audrey, and me at the top of the Singapore Flyer.

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View from the top.🙂

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Muslim district in Singapore.

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Here’s a good pic of the floating market in Thailand.