She’ll watch the with her feet up, at home in Orlando, alone or maybe with a close friend or two. Nothing fancy. No gatherings of any sort. Golf’s newest major champion Patty wants to watch the game’s next one without a lot of fanfare.
“My body is still feeling the aftershocks of everything,” said after returning home from her stunning major championship victory at the ANA Inspiration. “I’m just going to rest and recover before getting back to the course.
“I’m going to get off social media. It’s getting kind of overwhelming. I just need some time off for myself and for the people in my life.”
She doesn’t realize how magnetic she is. To her, it’s normal, just Patty being Patty. But everything about her – the look, the walk, the penetrating stare, the ability to toss the phone aside and live her life in places other than Twitter and Instagram – oozes cool. Throw in the eye-popping driving stats (she averaged 323 yards off the tee last week, and for reference, Bryson has averaged 320.8 so far in 2021) and it’s easy to see why everyone wants to know more about the 21-year-old.
That’s not likely to happen, at least not right away. As Patty told me on Wednesday, “Privacy is so important to me. I don’t have the energy to say yes to everyone.”
It thrilled her to put on her mask and her aviator sunglasses and cruise through LAX unnoticed on Tuesday. After her win on Sunday night – when she became the first rookie in history to make the ANA Inspiration her maiden victory on the LPGA Tour – was overwhelmed with congratulatory messages and bombarded with media requests.
“Hundreds of people reached out,” she said. “Tommy Fleetwood texted the GM at congratulating me and Grant (Waite, her coach),” she said. “Annika posted a congratulations and I got a lot of comments from players like Anna Nordqvist and Danielle Kang. A lot of the pros at , Lee Janzen and Arjun Atwal and a lot of others, send messages. Kerr reached out with some advice, which was . I really appreciated that.”
It wasn’t until Tuesday, as she was driving to the Los Angeles airport for her cross-country flight back to Florida that it finally sank in. Things are different now. Just Patty being Patty is news. She’s a major champion and will be forever.
“That’s when it was like, ‘Oh, yeah, it really is real. I really did it,’” she said. “But I didn’t have the trophy (at the airport) and I was wearing my mask and glasses. I kind of liked it. I like not being recognized.”
She also enjoys time with her closest friends, those who are happy for her but don’t care that she is a major champion. Those friends, about 10 in all, threw a surprise party for her when she got back home on Wednesday. After that, she turned the phone off and took it easy.
“I think I manage my time a little bit better now because there’s something more going on,” she said. “I got that advice from my trainer today. I’m not going to say yes to a lot of people.”
Once she gets back to golf, she and Waite will look at her stats and continue to dial in the shots that they know are important to keep the wins coming. “For me, the stat that was most important (last week) was greens hit in regulation,” she said, downplaying how ridiculously long she hit it off the tee. “Grant and I have also been working on proximity to the hole. We looked at that and realized that we needed to work on short irons. Yes, I was hitting a lot of greens, but it wasn’t close enough for me to be making a lot of birdies.”
She looks forward to the day that the LPGA Tour measures “shots gained” as part of its statistical package. But until then, she will focus on what she knows is important, not just in golf but in her life.
“The most important thing is, don’t forget to be yourself and stick to your core values no matter what,” said. “That’s what I’m going to do. I’m not going to change who I am.”