Going into these last 4 tournaments that I recently played, I was confident that I was going to play well. It had nothing to do with my game -- it was just a feeling that I had. I have always made the cut in Milwaukee, Wisconsin so I had good vibes going into this event. I actually had a hole-out on the first day for eagle and ended up playing the first two rounds with the eventual winner. I made the cut, but didn't play well in the final round. I have been struggling with playing well in the final round all season and it felt like I was so close, just not quite there yet.
On to Battle Creek, Michigan. I have always really liked this event even though I haven't always made the cut here. It just feels welcoming to me for some reason. On the first day, I really struggled to put in a good back nine after a long rain delay when we thought we weren't even going to finish that day, but ended up starting again at 6:30pm. Basically, I had left myself a lot of work to make the cut the next day. And it didn't help when I started the 2nd round with a bogey. But when the time is right, things start to happen that you just don't know why they are happening. And that's exactly what happened. I sank just enough putts and had just enough good breaks to make the cut right on the number. The next day, I really thought the last round was going to be like every final round I've had this year -- disappointing -- but I got a really nice surprise! I was 16 holes in and dead even from where I started. Then out of nowhere, I stuffed two shots on the final 2 holes within 4 feet! And there I had my 1st under-par last round of the year!
The next week was an off week for the Symetra Tour, but I received an exemption into the CP Women's Open in Regina, Saskatchewan. So after a 22+ hour drive, my mom and I arrived in the province of "living skies"! Unfortunately, smoke from the British Columbia wildfires had blown over from the west and the skies weren't as clear as they usually are. I could probably write a whole post about this tournament, but I'm just going to highlight some interesting things:
1) I met Shanshan Feng -- like actually MET her! I played a hole with her, talked to her in English and a little bit of Cantonese, and my mom took a picture of us together! Shanshan is one of my mom's and my favourite players. She's just so different from everyone else on tour and incredibly nice! I actually pitched in an eagle during the practice round while I was playing with her and she jokingly said "Save it for the tournament!". She's a great player and she really is a worthwhile person you want to get to know if you ever go out to watch the LPGA.
2) I got to catch up with my old Symetra Tour buddies! I had two friends I used to hang out with previously on the Symetra Tour -- Yu Liu and Peiyun Chien -- and I haven't seen them in so long since they graduated to the LPGA by being in the Top 10 in previous years. I got so excited to finally see them again and actually got paired with Peiyun (or "Money" as they call her which is her nickname -- tour secret :P). Unlike some players, the big tour hasn't changed them. They are still super awesome people and were rooting for me to play well and join them on the LPGA soon!
3) The wind. Some people have asked me, why I shot so high in my 2nd round and it became clear to me that since the afternoon wave wasn't televised on Golf Channel, very few people actually knew what the situation was like. The morning wave had pretty nice weather with a light to strong breeze during their round. But the afternoon was like a completely different day! The winds picked up to a constant 40km/h wind with gusts of up to 55km/h. Then the clouds and a huge plume of smoke rolled in making the air so hazy you could barely see the downtown area which was only 5 kilometers from the course. Then the temperature began to plummet. It went from around 30 degrees Celsius to 17 degrees Celsius which felt like 10 degrees because of the wind. It was the strangest sight you'd probably ever witness at an LPGA event. Spectators were actually leaving the course in hordes because of the conditions while some of the best players in the world hadn't even made the turn yet. Needless to say, the wind was whipping my ball around like it was a ping pong ball -- in the air and on the greens. I would try to keep it low and bounce my shots up to the green, but the course had a lot of severe ice damage over the winter and the wet, thick sod in front of some of the greens didn't always allow for shots to be bounced up. That round was a puzzle that I couldn't solve so I just played to survive.
4) Brooke Henderson won! I'm giving a lot of props to this woman because she basically had the pressure of the entire country on her shoulders and she pulled through. Winning your national championship at the highest level is a great honour and accomplishment and it really did feel like she was going to win it right from the get-go. I've known Brooke for a while now and this win was well within her wheelhouse. The girl was beating me when she was 13 and I was 18 so things haven't really changed :P.
I was really hoping to make the cut in this CP Women's Open because I finally felt ready, but it apparently wasn't the right time for me. Maybe next year right? (…it's at Magna next year…close to home…maybe that will be the one! :D)
After that lovely experience in Regina, we headed down to South Dakota where I played my most recent tournament. Let me just say one thing here, I am not a wind player! I've tried so hard to be, but I just don't play my best golf in the wind. Some people do (more power to them!), but I don't. The wind made it challenging once again, but my putting was a sausage butt (i.e. not useful :P). My total amount of birdies I made was 2, and my total amount of feet sank on those birdie putts was 4. Basically, if I didn't hit it beside the hole, the putt wasn't going in. After practicing now for a few days, I realized that I had a small technical error in my putting last week so that solves that. But as it goes, when the time is right, it will happen.
So, as you might have picked up, timing is everything. Not just for the tempo of your golf swing, but in life. Sometimes you can have all your ducks lined up in a row to have the best outcome and somehow end up with the worst outcome or vice versa. That's just how life works. There's no need to panic though. As long as you continue to learn and have irreplaceable experiences, you really aren't ever losing. It's important to remember this when life gets you down because it will help to keep you going! And when the timing is right you can look back and see how things really did work out for the better!
Here's to keeping it going for the rest of the season! :) Thanks for reading everyone! I really do appreciate it!