In her second year on the Symetra Tour, Ruixin Liu (Dalian, China) captured her first professional win on Sunday, June 24 in Harris, Mich., at the 8th annual Island Resort Championship. Now through 10 events this season, Liu is No. 5 in the Volvik Race for the Card with $37,301 earned. Below, she takes us into the process of finding the winner’s circle.
This is my second year on the Symetra Tour and after my first win at the Island Resort Championship, it feels like I finally made some improvement in my game compared to last year. I did not start the season as good as I hoped to, but the win really cheered me up and somehow helped gain my confidence back.
At the beginning of the year, I had a hernia repair surgery, so when the season started I was still very sore and in some pain. I think that might have been a reason why I could not swing as strong as I did before the procedure. To get my strength back, I did some rehab and worked really hard. It was a long process and quite difficult, but I am happy that I pulled through.
During my recovery, I spent lots of time reflecting on my previous year’s performance. I concluded that my short game was the part I need to work on more, especially chipping to lower my up and down percentage. Also, I had lots of birdies, but also a good amount of bogeys. When I started practicing for 2018, I focused on my short game so I could hopefully limit the bogeys. I think this is the main reason why I won the Island Resort Championship. My putting is cooperating so well with me and I can tell my chipping is getting better. Throughout the rest of the season, these will remain the top things I will continue to develop.
My parents have been a big part of this journey, as they give me all the support. Since I haven’t got used to American food, we rent a house every week and my mom cooks traditional Chinese meals for us, making me more comfortable. My dad is my caddie on the course, which gives me much-needed comfort and confidence. During the Island Resort Championship, he would tell me to be patient in the wind. Also when we travel, my dad is driving most of the time so I can rest more. I want to give a really big thanks to my parents and all the people who support me.
From this victory I learned a lot about myself and what I need to work on. It also showed that it is really important to keep away from injury by doing more fitness and spending more time stretching before each round. I would like to keep working on my short game and also do more training on accuracy. For the rest of the season, I want to enjoy everything more and work hard to earn a full-time LPGA Tour card.