To recap, I'll start off with the GreatLIFE Sioux Falls Challenge which took place in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It was my first time ever in South Dakota and also playing this tournament which happens to be the biggest purse event on the Symetra Tour at $210,000. My first round went pretty well, and my second round was going pretty well until it wasn't. It started off with an extremely tough pin position on my 8th hole that caused me to 3 putt from 12 feet from the hole. Then the rain started. Then the wind started. Then I forgot how to my irons. Then I forgot how to putt. And then the round was over and I had missed the cut by one shot. *insert picture of arrow going through the heart here*. That one hurt a lot because I knew I had to make birdie to make the cut which was at +3 at the time coming into my last two holes, and I hit a really good putt for birdie on the 17th. Unfortunately, it just missed and I then proceeded to miss the 3 footer coming back for par and ended my round at +5 instead. And it just so happened that the cut moved to +4 as the very last groups finished which means I could've just made par on 17 to make the cut. Hindsight it great isn't it!...
That whole situation is kind of ironic though. Because I remember reading a blog post that Kim Kaufman (LPGA Tour player) had written in her rookie year. She said that at one tournament she was on the 18th green and she knew she just had to make par to make the cut. Instead she went for the birdie and ended up making bogey to miss the cut. So here I was in South Dakota at the end of my round thinking about that exact situation from her blog. And the most ironic part is that Kim is from South Dakota! Actually, she's probably the only player on the LPGA from South Dakota! :P
But all bad situations have positive ones to balance them out and this was definitely the case in Sioux Falls. Shannon Fish, a Symetra Tour player from the Houston area, started this pledge where she was going to donate $100 for every birdie she made and the proceeds would go to Hurricane Harvey relief work. Well, this turned into a snowball effect and soon a whole bunch of players committed to doing the same thing. And then the tournament sponsor, volunteers and spectators decided to hop on board too which led to the tournament raising over $100,000! Amazing! And even though I didn't get to play the weekend, my mom and I got to visit Mount Rushmore! My mom was way more pumped than I was to see it, but it was pretty cool and something I've wanted to see ever since National Treasure 2 came out!
On to Kansas! The Garden City Charity Classic -- where when the wind blows, it really blows! My first round was actually pretty good. But my second round was pretty terrible. To be fair, there were sustained winds of 20mph+ and gusts of up to 35mph so it was tough conditions. But all parts of my game were doing so many wonky things whether it was from the wind, nerves or a combination of the both. I had a triple and a double bogey on the front nine which didn't help my case, but my putting was just awful. I putted poorly in Sioux Falls too, but it was on another level of bad now. I would hit my putts and already know there weren't going in. Or I would hit my putt and just question how on earth it ended up where it did when I thought I had aimed somewhere else. It was a mess. Making the cut was still in sight, but it wasn't meant to be. At least, I now knew what I needed to work on. As they say, "drive for show, putt for dough!"
On a positive note, Anne-Catherine Tanguay from Quebec won the event! So now there have been two Canadian wins this year on the Symetra Tour! Maybe a third if I fix my putting?! ;)
I'm going to finish off this post with an interesting situation that happened to me in Garden City. So, during Sioux Falls, I was thinking a lot about "how do you know if you're truly fulfilling God's purpose in your life, especially if you're an athlete and if you're not a star, #1 in the world, popular, etc". Like when Zach Johnson won the Masters, a lot of people drew to him because of his strong faith in God. And even though Gerina Piller hasn't won any events, she's extremely popular and people draw to her because of her strong relationship with God as well. Or probably the biggest one in sports right now, Steph Curry in the NBA. But how about the rest of us? The ones who don't fall into the limelight?
So I got put in the pro-am that week with two guys who worked at one of the local banks and a pastor from one of the local churches (go figure!). I asked the pastor which church he preached at and he said "Bible Christian Church". And instantly, I remembered that I had gone to that church last year when I was in Garden City and even remembered what the sermon was about! So we had an instant connection! After starting the round and learning a little more about him and the other two guys, the question came up about "how do you know if you are on the right path that God wants you to take?" He said, "If you are running to something and not away from something then you are doing what you are supposed to be doing." For some, this seems like a logical answer, but for me it made me remember something. A lot of times I think about how much more I could do if I was a star that it motivates me to do better, but at the same time it makes me sad that I'm not there yet or may never get there. So what the pastor said really made me realize that it's all about the journey. And I know that I've even said it before, but life really is all about the journey. There's ups and downs, forwards and backwards, sometimes even in circles, but that's just life. Not all of us are going to be stars, but we can still do a lot. It's all in the journey. Everyone's story is so unique and can impact the world in so many different ways. Some of us will impact millions while others may only impact a few. But even just one is enough. It really is enough to just be you and God will do the rest.
To be honest, I can't even believe that that situation happened! God really knows how to time things in life!
Thanks to all who have been reading and following my journey! I know it's sometimes (okay...mostly :P) lackluster, but I hope you can enjoy even a small tidbit every time! Wish me luck in my last few events! :)