In her fourth year on the Symetra Tour, Allyssa Ferrell (Edgerton, Wisconsin) captured her first career professional win on Sunday, Sept. 9 at Buffalo Dunes Golf Course for the fifth annual Garden City Charity Classic in Garden City, Kan. The Michigan State University alumna moved up 48 spots in the Volvik Race for the Card to No. 21 following her victory and is in the field this week for the fourth annual Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout.
Just a month ago, I thought I would have never been in this position—a first-time Symetra Tour champion. The beginning of my season was really rough and I was starting to question whether or not I would continue to play the rest of the year. I would have one solid round then follow it up with a round that left me wondering where I went wrong. The struggles of the day-to-day travel and being away from family was starting to get to me emotionally and physically. I am very fortunate to have the support system that I do to help me through the difficult times. My college coach and current swing coach each had a heart-to-heart with me about my future and what golf means to me. I decided to give it my all and start taking greater care of myself, both mentally and physically. We discussed that playing professional golf has been a dream of mine since I started competing at the age of eight. We all have moments in our lives where we look at the glass as half full instead of half empty, and I knew I could overcome the obstacle.
The week of the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship in Battle Creek, Mich. at Battle Creek Country Club seemed to turn my season around. I had the opportunity to play with former MSU teammates Liz Nagel and Christine Meier. It reminded me of why I love this game because together we won three Big Ten Championship titles. Being paired with them also reminded me that I can play this game at the highest level and tap into my full potential. At the end of the tournament I was in the top-20, which seemed to build my confidence. Then during the off week after Battle Creek, I focused more on having a routine and keeping it. I learned that having a routine and sticking to that will only help me mentally and physically prepare for events. I particularly focused on putting and having my short game in perfect condition.
That hard work seemed to payoff in South Dakota where I finished tied for eighth, my best finish of the season thus far. Going into the final round I learned a lot about myself and the game of golf in general. I had never been in a position where I could win an event as I entered only two shots back of the lead, but after nine holes I was out of the hunt. After the round my dad, who was also my caddy for the week, talked with me about what (and how) I could change in my thought process if I ever wanted to be in that position again and take advantage of it. From how to make sure we take things hole-by-hole, to really focusing shot-by-shot, because that is all you can control in the end. I would say that mindset was my focus heading into the next event in Garden City, Kan. at Buffalo Dunes Golf Course.
In Garden City, my sister Brooke was on the bag and we combined to form an excellent team. She played at the University of Wisconsin and also competed as a professional for several years. Unfortunately, she had a career-ending wrist injury, so I decided to dedicate the win to her because everyday I tee it up I think about her and play for her. Going into the final round we wanted to take it shot-by-shot and hole-by-hole, what I took away from my performance in the Sioux Falls GreatLIFE Challenge. My sister did an excellent job of keeping me in the present and focusing on only what I could control.
The moment where I knew I had won I was in total shock. It still feels surreal at times and I do remember saying to my sister that I couldn’t believe mom and dad weren’t there to witness the moment. Luckily, my good friend Liz Nagel was there and she put in a FaceTime call to my parents so they could be part of the win and celebration as much as possible. I am still very thankful for all of the support back home from friends and family. I could not have done this without them! Most of all, I am thankful that my first Symetra Tour win came with Brooke on the bag.