MARIAH STACKHOUSE SHOWCASES GAME WITH 66
Mariah Stackhouse lives just 15 minutes from Atlanta National Golf Club and is enjoying staying at home this week. She woke up, made herself breakfast that included oatmeal, eggs and bacon and then posted a 6-under, 66 to stand in a tie for second.
“I’m pretty pleased with my performance today,” said Stackhouse. “I made a 24-foot par save and a 10-foot par save early and after that I knew the flatstick was rolling so I told myself to start hitting some greens in good places.”
Stackhouse missed the cut a couple weeks ago in her second LPGA Tour start at the LOTTE Championship. The two things she noticed that needed improvement were her putting and her mental approach.
“I put in some good work with my coach on my putting stroke and I needed to work on my mental approach,” explained Stackhouse. “Most Symetra (Tour) events are three days so you don’t have time to waste. You’ve got to go get it if you want any chance. If you’re hitting it well, you’ve got to take advantage.”
Although she had never played Atlanta National Golf Club before this week, Stackhouse was a 4-time GSGA Player of the Year and spoke fondly of representing the area.
“The Atlanta area is such a good golf community, some good professionals have come out of here and some of the greatest amateurs,” said Stackhouse. “There is a rich history and there is a golf course every mile on the north side of Atlanta. I’ve got a lot of support from the staff out here as some of them have followed my career while I played GSGA and then in college. I defintely feel the support.”
Stackhouse is still adjusting to life as a professional golfer. She has made six starts between the LPGA and the Symetra Tour. She currently ranks 48th on the Volvik Race for the Card money list.
“One of the biggest things I’m learning is to not over practice,” said Stackhouse. “It doesn’t do any good to be out there for seven or eight hours. A three or four hour practice of drills and improvement makes more sense. Managing travel and figuring out a schedule has also been a bit harder for me with conditional status.”
Stackhouse said that she has altered her schedule a bit and will only play the LPGA if she is in the field before the withdrawal deadline.
“I’m not going to be so focused on getting into every LPGA event,” said Stackhouse. “If at the withdrawal deadline, I’m not in then I’m going to take my name off and play the Symetra Tour event. The bouncing back-and-forth has really messed with me mentally and I just don’t feel like I’m focused. If I’m in a Symetra Tour event, that needs to be my 100 percent priority.”
POPOV NEEDED CVS COLD REMEDIES AND STILL POSTED 66
Sophia Popov slept terribly last night and said it felt like someone was throwing needles down her throat. She went to CVS before her afternoon tee time and then turned in a 6-under, 66 with eight birdies.
“It was hard to sleep and I kept thinking about it and it hurt to swallow,” explained Popov. “I was also a little stuffed so I went to CVS and bought a few things that might help. I was sucking on cough drops the entire round to soothe my throat.”
Popov showed no signs of being sick on the course as she made the turn in 4-under.
“On the back nine, I felt like I was just maintaining and then I chipped in on 14, which really kept me going,” said Popov. “I just had a lot of putts drop.”
- No. 1 on the Volvik Race for the Card money list, Benyapa Niphatsophon, posted a 5-under, 67 and is fifth place.
- There are 12 players within four shots of the lead after round one.
- Former University of Georgia golfer Manuela Carbajo Re posted a 2-under, 70 and is in a tie for 14th.