Augusta James (Bath, Ontario), who ranks 14th on the Volvik Race for the Card money list, wrote something interesting recently in a piece that will come out on https://www.womensgolf.com this weekend. She said the following:
"The Symetra Tour has taught me the importance of each shot since now it has a dollar amount equivalent to it. I have also learned that while the goal is to graduate to the LPGA Tour, you have to be "ready" to move up. By that I mean being consistent and competing each week on the Symetra Tour before you’re ready to do so on the LPGA.”
The last half of that statement is really mature and astute especially for someone that narrowly missed a card in 2015. You have to remember, James was seventh on the money list last year with three events left and ninth heading into the final event. Unfortunately, she posted rounds of 74-76 and missed the cut at the Symetra Tour Championship.
Like she wrote, maybe she wasn’t quite ready yet to play on the LPGA.
This year, she is in a similar predicament, but trying to move from outside the top 10 and here is the case for not counting her out. Let’s preface by assuming that most who follow the Tour give No. 11 Laura Gonzalez Escallon, No. 12 Nelly Korda and No. 13 Sophia Popov a better chance. Why? First off, they are far closer. James is $12,740 outside the top 10. Secondly, Gonzalez Escallon has won twice this year, Korda has won once and Popov finished T6 at the last event. James has not won yet this year.
Forget all that. James felt the anguish of missing a Tour card, but a year later has maintained the right mindset.
Here is a player that has ten top 10 finishes over the last two seasons including six this year. What she needs now is a first or two place result. She has two third place results this year. She ranks second on Tour in driving accuracy and 11th in greens in regulation. She did mention in the womensgolf.com piece that her putting has let her down a little this year.
"I have always been a pretty consistent putter, but this year it hasn't been the strongest part of my game,” said James, through an email to womensgolf.com. "While my stroke is still in a good place, I am working on my mental game specifically with confidence.”
If she finds the putter, like she did in a bogey-free final-round 68 in Garden City last week, there is no reason to believe that she can’t win one of the final three events to earn a card.
The last Canadians to earn their cards through the Symetra Tour were Sue Kim and Alena Sharp in 2013. Maybe now, James is ready for the LPGA.
We strongly encourage you to check the full Q&A with Augusta James this weekend on https://www.womensgolf.com.