A good decision

Photo Credit: Scott Miller

After an accomplished collegiate career and graduating from the University of Oklahoma, Kelly Jacques felt she would try to take her golf career to the next level. It was a no brainer, until she was faced with a harsh reality.

“After I graduated I decided to turn pro and I thought ‘I got this!’” said Jacques. “And I had no idea really how much money it cost to play. So probably after three events thought I really can’t afford this and went through all of my savings. So I got a full-time job at a chiropractor’s office back in Colorado and I was there for quite a few months.”

After spending some time in the office life, Jacques had an epiphany that push her back to the game she disappointedly left behind.

“It was probably in November that I started getting the bug and seeing myself swinging in the mirrors at work,” said Jacques. “And overnight I decided, I can’t do this I need to go back and play and at least give it a shot. So the next day, I moved down to Arizona and thankfully my boss was very supportive of that.”

She turned back to the Symetra Tour but didn’t play a full schedule until 2012. She would audition for Golf Channel’s Big Break at a Symetra Tour event in 2011 and was selected to be a contestant on Big Break: Ireland.

“At first, when you find out you’re going to be on the show, you’re overwhelmed with excitement and joy and then you get so deathly scared,” said Jacques. “You’re like ‘oh my gosh, I’m going to be on TV’ and if you hit a bad shot, it’s going to be shown to everybody. So it was really neat to be a part of that and to see how your game holds up under pressure.”

Jacques qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open this year and made her debut at an LPGA event at one of the schedule’s toughest events.

“I was so excited,” said Jacques. “It was my first LPGA event and it happened to be at the U.S. Open at a great course. And it was unbelievable. I’ve dreaming about that moment like all the girls out here forever and the first time to get on that stage. It was really exciting. It was a huge confidence booster. I didn’t play great but I shot two mid-70 rounds and I said you know, I can hang with these girls. A little more practice and I got this.”

She made nine starts on the Symetra Tour this season, posting three top-20 finishes and a season-best T11 at the Eagle Classic in Richmond, Va.

“I learned so much just being out there week to week, having to grind and being away from home. I learned so much on how much you really need to practice and how much you need to commit to your game.”

Topics: LPGA Qualifying Tournament, Kelly Jacques