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. 🙂

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7 thoughts on “Learning to Persevere

  1. Good to read of your Trials and tribulations on Tour. Couple of things if i May; 1: “visualise Holes ahead”…STOP IT..the way to succeed at this game is..#oneshotatatime. 2. “Don’t fight for every shot”…STOP IT..the way to succeed at this game is..to fight for every shot..have a pre-shot routine you use on EVERY shot…and trust your swing. If you (I cannot make you) adopt what I say above it will help you further improve in your performances…and I beleve from those improved performances make more cuts. This is constructive feedback. Are you coming over to the UK for the RICOH Womens British Open at Woburn Golf & Country Club?

  2. Great job this weekend and good luck in the next from good old Clark SD. Gram is proud I talked to her in church on Sunday. Go get em Dala

  3. Congrats on hanging in there. Danny Sinksen tells me that learning your flaws so you can self-correct is one of the most important things he teaches. Undoubtedly he’s correct. That Woburn Marquess course looks like traditional English parkland, most of the reviewers remark on the big undulating greens. Good luck at the Womens Open Championship.

  4. Kim we just read your latest post and wanted to pass on our congratulations on your T11 finish in Toledo. Looks like you are hitting some great form in good time for the British Open and we wanted to wish you all the best . We have been travelling in Italy and France recently and have been a bit slack with our emails but did manage to stay updated with your results. We are back in Melbourne for a few weeks but not enjoying the cold weather and think we will go north for a little while to get away from the worst before we go to India later in the year. We hope all well with you and wish you all the best in the British Open

    Best wishes

    Ray and Helen >

  5. Kimmie…I continue to be impressed with your determination and how well you have played this year. Please know you are being cheered and supported from all parts of the country! Your T11 finish was superlative! Hang in and go Tech! Mike

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