Close calls in golf can be gut-wrenching, especially when it comes down to one shot here or a missed putt there. But they’re even more excruciating if the game is your career. For Allie White (Lancaster, Ohio), last week at the Symetra Tour Championship felt like a missed opportunity, even though she finished in a tie for 14th at the season finale. After going 65-66-71 in the first three rounds, the 31-year-old ended her week with a disappointing 1-over 73, a round that bumped her to the 36th spot in the Race to the Card on the Symetra Tour, ultimately costing her an exemption into the LPGA Q-Series.
“My number one goal this season was making it into the top 35, so I kind of knew as soon as I walked off the green, I just had this feeling like, oh my gosh you’re going to be one stroke short,” said White of her final-round performance. “I was really bummed for a couple days, but you’ve just got to reset your mind and I think I learned a lot last week. I had probably put myself in the best position that I ever had to win a golf tournament and didn’t have a great last day, but I learned a lot from that last day.”
Anyone else would be bitter about the result, lamenting over where they should’ve done better or what they could’ve done differently. However, White has simply turned the page, setting her sights on the second stage of Q-School at Plantation Golf and Country Club, excited for another opportunity to tee it up and looking forward to having her longtime friend and fellow professional Vicky Hurst on her bag for the week.
“I’ve been working hard on my mental game and trying to remember all the good things I did because there’s a lot more to the season than just last week,” White said. “I had a lot of friends reach out and be like, hey dude you’ve got this, you’re playing great golf just go do it. I’ve caddied for my friend Vicky in the past at Q-Series and she called me up pretty quick because I didn’t have a plan for Stage II and she was like, ‘I’ll get out there and caddie for you.’ We’ve been friends since we were 16 years old. It will be nice to have somebody that knows so much about golf on the bag and someone I can talk to, have fun with.”
Q-School can be one of the most grueling experiences a professional golfer can go through, chock-full of stress and nerves and worry about the future with many succumbing to the pressure of their own expectations. But White doesn’t see it that way, instead choosing to focus on “controlling the controllable” and reminding herself that while Stage II is important, she’s still got plenty of golf ahead of her.
“I expect myself to try my best and be focused and that’s pretty much it,” White said. “You can’t control how everybody in the field is going to play and how it’s going to bounce, how you’re going to hit it that week. Regardless, I’ve played the best golf I’ve ever played this year, so no matter how Stage II goes I’m going to play more golf next year because I’m playing so good and I’m having so much fun. So, whatever happens, there will be another golf tournament.”