Hello everyone! I hope everyone is doing well and enjoyed following along the LPGA as we got our season started these past two weeks. As I often do, I am writing on my flight from Orlando to LAX tonight. A 5 hour flight that seems like quite a journey but is only just the beginning! I will leave LAX on a redeye that takes me all the way to Brisbane, Australia before a final flight to Adelaide where this years Australian Open is played. This will be the first of three week over seas for me, but first lets look back at how the first two weeks unfolded.
I’m always pleased to report when I go 2/2 on cuts made. I played solid on Thursday and Friday when the wind was howling, and they struggled on the weekend when it calmed down. Strange how that works. Golf is weird. While I made the cut and cashed a check (always important) I went to Ocala and knew that my swing was not where I needed it to be. I sent a video to my coach on Monday afternoon in Ocala and he replied within the hour. One of the many benefits of having the same coach for 18 years and counting. To put it lightly, my swing looked horrendous. What had I been doing in the Bahamas? I might as well have been using a croquet mallet, it probably would have yielded better results. Now, I know what you’re all thinking, you’re thinking that as a professional on the LPGA we don’t struggle with our swings and they never look “horrendous.” Well, trust me when I say we have just as many struggles as any golfer and when compared side by side to a good swing of mine, it can be horrendous. So, I got the drills I needed from my coach and a direct plan of action and went to work. Luckily it was something I had worked on before but had never quite mastered; but while standing there on the range in Ocala it just seemed to click. I had one of the best ball striking weeks that I had had in a long time.
The weather was the main story in Ocala for the second year in a row and even gave me a day off on Thursday (our second day of play). While it was a very rare treat to spend a Thursday watching it rain and watching a movie, it didn’t seem like a treat when we had to squeeze in 54 holes in 2 days. I swear they lost count and we played a fifth round. I played 30 holes on Friday and would have gladly played into the night. I had it going and was trying to play as many as I could before it was called for darkness. Unfortunately I came out on the final day with 24 holes to play and just couldn’t get any momentum. However, I walked off the course and have probably never felt better about my game after shooting 5 over in my life. Sometimes the score just really doesn’t tell the whole story.
My coach came down to Orlando for a short trip on Tuesday and Wednesday and in traditional Florida fashion we enjoyed practice in the worst weather possible. This time instead of rain it was blowing 35 and cold. Cold as in 4 shirts and two pairs of pants. Yes, I know its probably 3 degrees in my home town right now but go with me, people. Most Floridians were hibernating in their basements while Todd and I beat balls on the range. Sometimes you just do what you have to do. I had a new set of irons and some woods I needed to try out and I had to make sure everything was ready for these three weeks. We got two good days of work in and I made a promise to myself that I will NOT complain about the sweltering heat in Asia in a couple weeks.
I do have to say that I am super thankful to have started the season with so many friends out to watch in the Bahamas and Ocala. It’s a small world when the parents of one of your best high school golf friends just happens to be in the Bahamas at the same time and gets a spot to play in the pro am with you! I also had many friends come out and brave the cold in Ocala and couldn’t be more thankful. It was an awesome way to bring in the new year!
After the Australian Open this week I will play in both Thailand and Singapore this year (both limited field events) before coming back stateside. I played Thailand last year but we have a new course in Australia and Singapore will be a new event for me as well. First big travel stretch of the year, let’s do this!
Lee Brice concert in the Bahamas. Very good show!!
Pro am group in the Bahamas featuring South Dakota’s own, Todd Hanten!
At pro am parties we wear black (and jackets). – with Kris Tamulis 🙂
Wouldn’t be Ocala without a Betty Cake! Thanks Steve and Phyllis!! :))
Our locker signs, just had to share. Made by local school kids.
Was soooo happy to drive down to Orlando after finishing play on Saturday to see Mr. and Mrs. Grambling. Can’t wait to live within driving distance soon!!