Manulife LPGA Classic

Posted by : | On : 08-06-2014 | Comments 6

Last week was my first return to LPGA competition in almost a year. I flew to Buffalo, NY and then drove almost 2 hours to Waterloo, Ontario, Canada to compete in the Manulife LPGA Classic. The Canadian fans were awesome! I am not used to competing with so many spectators and people cheering for just great golf shots. It was a lot of fun to see the fans excited the event was being contested and the tournament was run extremely well with a lot of wonderful volunteers.

As for my golf play, I teed off in the afternoon on Thursday with extremely windy conditions. While the score resulted in 7 over par, I did play a lot better than that indicated. And I walked away from the day encouraged with my golf game, while noting some obvious flaws that will need to be improved upon in the coming weeks. Friday’s round, I teed off bright and early, bundled up in many layers with a temperature of about 45 degrees. My good ball striking off the tee continued and other parts of my game rounded into form. I shot even par, 71 for the day. While my two day combined score was not nearly good enough to make the weekend cut, I was able to walk away with my head held high. In no way was my performance spectacular, but I saw some encouraging signs. And I have a few weeks to work on my game and the areas I see need some big improvements before I tee off again at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G.

There is always more that goes into a week on the road than just golf. And this week was no different. I was excited to hear from my dad, who serves as my travel agent, caddy, coach, and anything else I might need, that we were staying in a place that has two separate bedrooms. Looking forward to this as we were driving through the pitch black 11 p.m. night, we round the corner to hear the GPS say, “You have arrived.” I said, “this looks like a dorm complex.” After circling the parking lot a few times looking for an entrance to the desolate building, as school has commenced for the summer, we spotted a college-age man walking and stopped him to ask how to get into the building. He pointed to an area that was around the corner and hidden by big dumpsters and recycle bins. No wonder we couldn’t find the entrance. And for the big unveil, we were in the correct spot; staying in a dormitory for the week. It definitely brought back some college memories but all in all the accommodations were pleasant and served their purpose for the week.

Most of the time we eat at the golf course, where food is provided for us all day. On Friday, the pickings were slim so my dad and I decided to head over to this pizza place we saw near our dorm. We ordered our pepperoni pizza with a total of just over $6. My dad then proceeds to hand them $10 in American money. The young lady at the register just starred at the money not knowing what to do. She called over, what I assumed to be her father, to ask for help. He reached for the calculator and figured out what the conversation rate was and told her how much to return. She handed my dad back just 3 coins. Turns out they use mainly coins, one being a $2 coin and another being a $1 coin. Not having any real use to buy anything else with these 3 coins, my dad decided to use the Canadian money to purchase gas. The look on the gas station attendant’s face to only receive $3 worth of money for gas was priceless.

It was really nice to see some familiar faces on tour, most of which were glad to see I’m healed and back out for 4 events. The tour does have genuinely nice people. We are a competitive group of people, all believing in ourselves and all hoping we are the ones to win for the week. However, we do root for one another. A perfect example of this, I never stopped competing and trying my best. I have a lot to prove to myself and a lot to gain from each competitive round. With that said, one lady in my group was playing awesome, both days. And both days coming down the stretch the wheels started coming off. After round 1, she was still very much in the hunt to stick around for the weekend and make a good paycheck. Round 2, she was playing steady and certainly going to be around for the weekend. And then the closing 4 holes came. And those wheels started to come off. She made bogey on 17 to, at the time, fall just outside the cut line. The 18th hole was a par 5 and a chance for her to make a birdie to slide in for the weekend. She gave herself an awesome look at birdie, about 7 feet. Standing there waiting for her to putt, I knew what was at stake for her, the other lady in my group knew what was at stake, not sure the fans knew, but we were all pulling for her to drain the putt. She probably was extremely nervous. I can say from experience, that having a putt to make the cut is just as, if not more nervewracking than having a putt to win. Because sometimes, making the cut is winning. But she handled the nerves really well and made a solid stroke at the ball. I have no idea how it didn’t go in the hole. We all stood there in disbelief. She was obviously extremely disappointed and in that moment you can completely feel for the player. Just because I wasn’t going to make the cut and be around, doesn’t mean I’m not pulling for the people I spent 10 hours with for 2 days. Luckily for her, the cut ended up moving up a stroke as the afternoon wave still had yet to play and she was able to sneak in the 70 and tie margin to compete for the weekend.

I have two weeks off from competitive golf as the men’s US Open is being contested this week followed by the women’s US open at Pinehurst. Then I will be able to tee it back up at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G June 27-29.



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