Hello, everyone! I happily write this blog from American soil after 5 weeks overseas. It’s 4 am and I am terribly jet lagged but thats always part of the gig. As much as I love to travel and play golf there’s something about coming home that you just can’t replace. With only one event left on my schedule this season I can nearly taste the off season and have to admit it is time for a break. These past few weeks have been busy, but always well worth it.
The last time I wrote I was in the middle of my Asian swing with three events left to play: Korea, China, and Malaysia. Little did I know this would end up being probably the best stretch of my year. Korea granted us with absolutely perfect weather and a challenging course that lead to a great week for me. I had only played in Korea once before but the course fit me well. With very firm greens it demanded patience, something I have worked hard on these past few years. We hummed along for four days and in the end snuck into the top ten for my second tenth place finish of the year. I felt as if the momentum I felt the last day in Beijing and thru Taiwan was really starting to pick up.
The plan was for all players and most caddies to take a chartered flight to China on that Sunday night. However, a strong typhoon was headed straight for the island we play on. After a lot of discussion on the part of the LPGA and the tournament sponsor, the LPGA decided to hold us in Korea until the storm passed. We spent Sunday night and Monday night in Korea, flew to Shanghai Tuesday and stayed the night, and finally to our destination by mid day on Wednesday. What seemed like a nice two day break at first turned into two very long travel days. Many caddies, including my own, weren’t able to arrive until Wednesday night, so we were allowed to go out in a cart on our own Wednesday afternoon and play as much of a practice round as we could. Needless to say, by the time we tee’d it up on Thursday morning we were all feeling a little out of whack.
I played the best I could each day, but I could tell I was on my fourth week in a row at the end of the season; I was completely exhausted. I jokingly told my caddie, Audrey, on Friday that if I worked a normal job I would have called in sick. As much fun as playing golf for a living may seem, sometimes we want to play hooky, too. 🙂 I played relatively well on the weekend and left with a top 25 finish and one week to go in Asia.
The Sime Darby LPGA in Malaysia is usually the first event in the Asian swing but happened to fall fifth, and thus last, for me. Its a great golf course that challenges accuracy and demands a lot from the flat stick. It’s a place where I generally grind out a 74 and can’t understand how anybody finished the tournament under par. This year it held something different for me though. Although I didn’t have the best playing memories there, I knew I was playing well and if I just took it one shot at a time, perhaps I could just prove to myself that I can play this golf course. It wasn’t perfect (two water balls and a couple missed three footers) but I was relentless in letting this course win for the third year in a row. I finished with an up and down out of the bunker on the 18th on Sunday for a T-7 finish at 10 under par. My best of the year. 🙂
Playing in Asia at the end of the year feels almost like a completely different job. It has such a different feeling from the first 7 months of the year. It’s rewarding, exhausting, and frustrating, but nevertheless teaches you so many things that undoubtedly make you a better player for it. I opted to not play in Japan or Mexico but will be in Naples for the tour championship in two weeks.
Thank you all for the kind messages this week. It’s been a great run in Asia!
The only fish I ever eat. Sweet red beans in a pastry. Traditional Korean practice round food every year on this hole.
Pro-am party in Korea.
Some of my best friends on tour. Love these guys!!
Pretty nice view from the gym in Korea. Lovely fall day. 🙂
Sometimes you have to just sit back and relax for a few hours. 🙂
Pro am Party in Malaysia with my wonderful friends. :))
Great minds think alike.