Jenny Haglund won the 2018 Symetra Classic on Saturday, May 19, on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff against Dottie Ardina. In 2016, the Sweden native graduated from Southern Methodist University (SMU) then played on the Ladies European Tour (LET) Access Series, earning her LET card for 2017 after finishing second in the Access Series points standings. While at SMU, Haglund was a four-year All-Conference selection and completed her collegiate career as the Mustangs' all-time scoring average leader (73.55)
I started out this year with a 5-week stretch in Australia, not really knowing what my year would look like. I wasn't sure how to handle playing dual tours in both the Symetra Tour and Ladies European Tour, especially affording to travel back and forth across the Atlantic while balancing life, golf, practice and rest.
After a good start to the first event, I played my way into the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open, my very first LPGA Tour event, and crossed a big goal off the list by making the cut. Saturday came and on the 14th hole, I hit a great 7-iron onto the green. It took a bounce and rolled into the cup for a hole-in-one and the cherry on top, a brand new car!
That's when things started to fall into place and I didn't have to worry as much about all the expenses. I could instead focus on playing my game, sticking to my routine and not thinking so much about making enough money every single week to keep playing the next event. After Australia, I spent some time at home to reflect on what I learned from playing in the Australian Open and what made my game different from the LPGA players.
I brought that with me when I teed it up in my first Symetra Tour event in Beaumont, Calif. for the IOA Championship presented by Morongo Casino Resort & Spa. Beaumont brought a lot of good things, even though I had a rough final round. I know a lot of people though, "Oh, she's got this, she's leading by five." But, golf is golf, and the way I see it, everything happens for a reason. From there, I didn't have a lot of time at home to practice before heading straight to Morocco for a LET event. What I got instead was a lot of time to think and reflect on planes while traveling.
The week of Beaumont, I learned a lot about myself and my game. It also made me realize I might be good enough to win. Seeing my name on top of the leaderboard that week was really good for my confidence. It was proof that hard work during a long period of time can pay off. And it did, with my first win on the LET, my very next event after the IOA Championship.
Ever since my win in Morocco, I haven't really had time for it all to sink-in because I have kept playing, all while sticking to my normal routine. First it was Atlanta, then Greenwood, S.C., and then North Carolina, before finally finishing the May stretch in Pottstown. In North Carolina, it became a different event, shortened to 36 holes during the second day. I had to go out and finish my last five holes in the morning on Saturday, the final day. I knew I had to finish with a least one birdie to have a chance since the afternoon wave wasn't even out on the course yet.
I shot par on my first four holes and when I got to the 18th, the tees were moved up. Once the drive was in the fairway I thought, "Okay, I accept the fact that this is a risky shot with everything being wet still, but I will take the risk. And if it's my turn, it's my turn." I pulled out my 5-wood and went for the green in two, setting myself up for at least an easy tap-in birdie. From there, the wait in the clubhouse began. Greater than five hours later, I went back to the range and warmed up again, this time for what became a one-hole playoff.
Louise Ridderström, my travel partner for the next week, kindly offered to caddie and after making the long putt on the 18th green to win, it all was a little blurry. Still to this day, I can't comprehend that I have won twice,within the time frame of a couple weeks, on both of the tours that I had no idea how to plan for in the beginning of the year. Nonetheless, after my win, Louise and I cruised from Charlotte to Pottstown, stopping for a bit in Washington, D.C. along the way. We had a great time and talked a lot. Much was said, but most importantly, I told her that, "If I can do it, you can too." The best part is she brought home a "W" in Pottstown the week after I won.
As for right now, as I write this reflection on a plane again taking me across the Atlantic back to Sweden, maybe it will all sink-in when I get home and take some time to reflect once more. However, I am extremely happy and fortunate to call golf my job and I enjoy the people I meet, as well as the journey that this incredible sport takes me on. Around every corner is a new adventure!
HAGLUND'S FINAL ROUND INTERVIEW