A name familiar to the Symetra Tour, Ruixin Liu (Dalian, China) is back in 2018 as one of the top returning players, eager to improve her No. 17 season-ending ranking on the Race for the Card money list.
“I want to set my bar higher this season, challenging myself a little more,” said Liu.
Last year, she captured four top-10 finishes, earning $37,329 in the process. Liu’s best place was a tied for second result at the Island Resort Championship. If that’s not impressive enough, in two of her first four tournaments as a professional, she finished top-five.
That’s a solid rookie campaign, especially considering Liu was the second youngest player on Tour at 18 years old and fresh out of Lake Nona High School in Orlando.
“The transition between student to full-time golfer was a little challenging,” said Liu. “We are on the road all the time and I finally started to learn how to focus on the course. Letting myself relax on the road and off the course, I think it is very important.”
A large part of Liu’s success was because of the flatstick. She ranked 13th on Tour in putts per green in regulation at 1.80. Therefore, training this off-season revolved around sharpening other aspects of her game.
“I have been working on my short game, especially chipping. That is what I lack the most,” Liu said. “I think my short game will have some improvement since I really put time into it. Also been spending more time in the gym.”
While she has been hard at work preparing for the upcoming season, Liu recently underwent hernia repair surgery. She just started swinging again, not yet able to play a full 18 holes.
Nonetheless, Liu is in the field for the season-opening Florida’s Natural Charity Classic, hoping to pick up right where she left off.
“I think after my rookie year, I am more familiar with life on Tour and some of the courses we play,” said Liu.
Entering her second year on the Symetra Tour, Liu has the goal of getting into the top-10, just like her good friend and fellow-China native Yu Liu, one of the 2017 Symetra Tour graduates.
“Seeing her success definitely cheered me up and I am eager to join her on the LPGA in the future,” Liu said. “In order to accomplish my goals, I have to focus and really be in my zone at all times.”