New Territory

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there is something to learn every single week out here.  That statement couldn’t be more true this past week in Phoenix.  I know that most of you already know it was a big week for me because I heard from so many of you throughout the week.  However, before I tell you my thoughts on the week, I just have to say “thank you” to everyone who came out to watch, and who I know was watching on T.V. at home. The amount of support I had in Phoenix was incredible! I felt like I was playing as the home town girl. Thank you to everyone!

Lets see, where do I start?  I’m going to start by saying this: the last time I held a lead in an LPGA event was in Korea.  It was really early in the second round and I looked up at a leaderboard and saw that I was T1.  I proceeded to make several bogeys and quickly tumble out of the lead.  Flash forward 5 months to Phoenix this week and I find myself leading after round 2, and T3 after round 3. Those are signs of great progress to me.  I don’t have to tell you that my Sunday wasn’t what I hoped for, but overall the week was super positive. Next time, I will be better equipped to finish out stronger on day 4.  Nonetheless, a T13 this past week is nothing to complain about.  I have two more weeks in California now and am looking to build off what I did in Phoenix.

So what exactly am I taking away from this week? I’ll give you my top three things.

1. It is grueling to stay at the top of a leaderboard for 4 days.  I know that there are sports that can go for hours on end, but having to play the same game for 4 days and think about it for 4 nights is exhausting.  Hats off to those that lead after round 1 and are still leading after round 4.  It is much harder than you think.

2. I can’t play to “protect” on the weekend.  I played such carefree and offensive golf on Thursday and Friday and it was nearly flawless.  I was committed and I wasn’t afraid of anything; it was easy.  Saturday was a decent day, but by Sunday I could feel myself playing to “protect” instead of just going out for more birdies.  It’s tough to explain, but its the difference in mindset between getting to a hole and thinking “I’m going to birdie this,” and “I hope I don’t bogey this.”  I’m not sure when, but sometime during my two weekend rounds my mindset shifted to the latter and the results will never be good.  However, the more I do that, and the more it realize that it doesn’t work, the sooner my mind will learn to stay in the present and in the “attack” mode instead of “protect” mode.

3. Finishing -13 is better than finishing -12.  As poorly as I felt I was playing on Sunday and as easily as I could have just let +2 go to +3, or +4, staying in the game and finishing with a couple birdies to get back to even will always be more satisfying than throwing away a round in an “I don’t care” attitude because it didn’t go as planned.  At the end of the year, all those top 20’s or top 15’s add up.  I can tell you that although I would have liked to be writing about my first LPGA win, I’m much happier with my T13 check than I would have been with my T25 check.  This is probably the biggest obstacle junior golfers need to overcome.  It doesn’t matter how bad a round is going, 79 is better than 80, 74 is better than 75.  Every shot counts. Period.

I have two more weeks in California for this stretch.  I will play the Kia Classic this week in Carlsbad and then our first major of the year is next week in Palm Springs.  It is what used to be called the Kraft, but is now the ANA Inspiration.  I hope you all can follow along again this week, and I’ll do my best to get some TV time again! 🙂

Thanks for all the well wishes!

KK

Had my coach in town this week.  The guy that deserves all the credit for my game!

Had my coach in town this week. The guy that deserves all the credit for my game!

Some little fans that followed me for two full days! Thanks Taylor and Gracie! :)

Some little fans that followed me for two full days! Thanks Taylor and Gracie! 🙂

Had some fun times at the Phoenix Suns game with the Texas Tech golf team.  Me and Elin pictured here. :)

Had some fun times at the Phoenix Suns game with the Texas Tech golf team. Me and Elin pictured here. 🙂

My mom also was with me in Phoenix.  We celebrated her birthday on Saturday night! Happy Birthday, Mom!

My mom also was with me in Phoenix. We celebrated her birthday on Saturday night! Happy Birthday, Mom!

Action shot from pro-am day..

Action shot from pro-am day..

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17 thoughts on “New Territory

  1. congrats on a great week. we love every minute following your progress. keep up the good work!! harlan and jean

  2. Kim, it was great to see you do so well – even if Sunday wasn’t what you had wanted – and definitely a treat to be able to watch so much of your playing time on TV 🙂 Congrats on a super week and to lessons learned – the main one being that you can play with and beat the best in the world 🙂

  3. Great week and so fun to follow! I am impressed that you are able to hang in there with the pressure that obviously mounts as you sit high on the leader board. Hopefully the experience in playing with the best golfers helps your future finishes as well. Keep up the good work, we’re rooting for you.

  4. Kim! I was hanging on your every swing! You were absolutely wonderful and the tour is wide open for you. You’re going to be ‘there.” Not to worry. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Fellow alum, Mike.

  5. Nice that you got a little face time on the GC….the week was a giant stepping stone into the limelight. You belong and the benefits will soon follow.

    One overlooked stat: there were six Kims in the field, and of those, you finished the highest with a first name of KIM.

    Onward and upward. Dr. C.

  6. So proud of our fearless champion and Red Raider! Awesome playing Kim!!! I see a win very soon! Good luck next week!

  7. Good tournament play Kim! We know with your I can do attitude the win will happen. We will be rooting for you on your journey. Good Luck and much success! The Hulschers

  8. Very good analysis of your game Kim. A lot of positives to take from the week. Making the 2 birdies coming in Sunday showed you are a true professional!

  9. Congratulations on a good tournament, especially the Sunday finish. You can’t “lose on Sunday” if you’re not already in a position where winning’s a possibility, so not quitting is where winning is born. Plus, if Judy Rankin is saying good things about you, you’re doing the right things.

  10. Keep playing great golf. Enjoy following your career. And keep on making South Dakota proud. It’s always great to see neighbors excel.

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