Well the week off started off pretty hectic as I had a tee time on Monday morning at 9.30am to start the Ohio Women’s State Open. My flight left Kansas City at 10pm on Sunday night to Indianapolis. I stayed with my host family that night, then drove 2 ½ hours to get to Defiance, Ohio. I was running on 4hrs of sleep and a lot of travel. Not the ideal situation to start a tournament, and the double on the first hole sure showed that. I said to my 14-year-old caddy “well, we got 35 holes left.” He just laughed. I think he thought I was crazy. But I knew deep down that was plenty of time to still be in with a chance to finish well. I was 3 over through 7 holes, then all of a sudden, something clicked. I birdied 8, 9, 12, 13, 15 to finish the round at 1 under par. There was only one score better at 3 under and that was from Wendy Doolan, who was a great player on the LPGA for many years. Overall, I felt really good about my round, even though it was a little inconsistent. But in the last few weeks, I’ve been making a lot of birdies, it’s just a case of trying to get rid of the bogeys.
I was staying with my friend this week, who is the head Pro at Eagle Rock golf club, where the event was being played. It was nice to be able to spend time with him, and his family, for the rest of the afternoon and evening. With schedule being so hectic this year, I haven’t been able to see him as much as I would have liked. It was a fun week because his son caddied for me and lot of his friends came out to watch me. It was almost like I was more of a local girl than fellow Symetra player, Allie White, who is born and raised in Ohio.
I had the pleasure of playing with Wendy Doolan in the final round, which was a great experience. I hadn’t quite realized how accomplished she was until after the round when I googled her. I’m glad I didn’t look into it before the round or I might have been a lot more nervous! She won over $3 million and had 34 Top 10’s. That’s an impressive record. And I could definitely see why having played with her. I knew the second round was going to require a lot of patience. This is not a golf course you can go really low and par was going to be my friend that day. I started out well, making 3 pars and then birding the 4th hole. I made two annoying bogeys on 5 and 6 to put me back to 1 over par. I made a good up and down out of the sand on 7, then I felt a lot more settled from there. I knew birdies would start coming if I just focused on each shot and the process. I hit it to 6ft on 10 and made the putt. The hardest part about this tournament was having no leaderboards. I started to realize I’m a player who likes to see what’s happening so I know whether to step on the gas a little more. So I really had to try and stay within myself and not focus on the people around me. I heard a fairly loud roar, on the 17th green, and I could see that Allie White had made a big putt for birdie. I had a feeling at this point I was going to need to birdie 17 or 18 to win the tournament. I made 2 pars coming in which meant there was a playoff. As much as winning outright would have been fun, being in a playoff with Allie sure made it exciting. Unfortunately, I hit my tee shot too far right and had some tree trouble. I hit a great shot to just off the edge of the green. I hit a good chip, it just ran out a few more feet than I was expecting. I just missed the par putt and Allie made a solid two putt par. I was happy for her because this was her first Professional win and it was in her home state. Her Mom was on the bag and her Dad and Uncle were watching. It was a special moment for her and she played the playoff hole better than I did. There’s not much I can do about that. There were a lot of positives to take away from the week including a 2nd place finish. My game is trending in the right direction and I’m feeling good about the rest of the season.
I spent the rest of the week in Orlando visiting friends and relaxing. I’m thinking of living there this offseason so I wanted to go down and check it out. Get a feeling for where I might want to live etc. It was nice to be able to have some fun and get away from golf for a few days after a busy few weeks. I did played the Disney course on Friday with one of my friends and I shot a bogey free 66 and missed 3 or 4 other makeable putts. I guess taking a few days off can definitely help.
This week we’re in Decatur, Illinois for the longest running Symetra event. 32 years and it’s still going strong. I love the event here because the community loves having us here, and I love the golf course. It suits my eye and there are a lot of birdies opportunities. You just need to keep it on the fairway. I’m looking forward to another successful and fun week out here. Keep your eye on the live scoring this week, I have a feeling there will be some low scores out here. J