Gone with the wind

Kathleen Ekey

A bit of unexpected wind played a factor in Wednesday's first round of the LPGA Qualifying Tournament but Symetra Tour Alum Kathleen Ekey had nothing to worry about. Ekey, who moved to Palm Beach, Fla. last year said her course provides plenty of practice in gusts a breezy conditions.

"I play out of Bear Lakes Country Club and we always joke that if it's windy at my house and I live two minutes from the beach, it's always windier at Bear Lakes," said Ekey. "It's like this wind tunnel. I'm so used to playing in the wind now; it's nice I get to practice out there and get used to it."

The 2011 Symetra Tour Player of the Year wasn't exactly fazed by the wind and said her practice has left her more prepared for it.

"You obviously have to think about it a little more and hit different kinds of shots," said Ekey. "But I definitely feel more comfortable with it. I've always been a decent wind player but I think that just made me even better. It's almost, you don't even notice it anymore."

Aside from perfecting her play in the wind, Ekey faced plenty of other challenges in her first year on the LPGA Tour this season. She's a self-proclaimed perfectionist which made it extremely difficult to deal with her struggles during her rookie campaign.

"I had such a good year in 2011 and I set high expectations for myself which is I guess part of my personality," said Ekey. "I've thought a lot about it, what I did wrong in 2012. I have these highly perfectionistic tendencies and part of it's my personality. I was a ballerina when I was young and ballet is perfect. Golf, maybe to an extent, is some but obviously you can't always try to be perfect."

Ekey made three cuts in 15 starts and recorded a season-best T45 at the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic Presented by Korger, Owens Corning and O-1. Trying to prepare for her first Q School experience wasn't easy and she tried to accept her swing instead of nit-picking at the intricacies of it.

"The past few weeks I've been trying to say to myself, ‘this is your golf swing, this is what it is,'" said Ekey.  "I'm going to try and not think about it and go out there and hit shots. And I think I did a pretty good job of that today."

Topics: Alumnae in the News, LPGA Qualifying Tournament