Lots has happened since the last time I checked in with you guys. I went to the HSBC LPGA Brasil Cup and had a great time. Brazilian people are really laid back and the tournament itself felt that way. It felt good to be back in South America. It felt like home to me. Since it was such a small field, it was easier to bond with other players and great relationships came out of that trip. The night before the first round, a lot of us went to PORCAO, a really famous Brazilian churrasqueria. It had a huge buffet with sushi, salad, soup, rice, and many other foods you would want as sides to the different types of meat they bring up to every table. You are asked whether you want that type of meat or not, and once you feel full you can turn the green button into red and the waiters then bring the dessert samples. My favorite part was the chocolate fudge brownie with vanilla ice cream. I shared it with Vicky Hurst and by the end of the evening we were charged with lots of energy to start the tournament. I had two solid rounds that got me to 6-under, tied for the lead with Meaghan Francella, but I ended up losing on the 6th playoff hole. It was an awesome experience to be in contention and feel all the support from the crowds. I was disappointed, but happy at the same time. The day after the tournament was over, I flew back to Colombia to get ready for the summer events.
In Colombia, I practiced a lot on my swing and my distance control. I thought that would be the key to success on the next events. I also spent some time catching up with friends that were back for the college summer break, and working at FORE. I was really happy to find out the government had granted us space to build the extracurricular center in Giron. With this place I will be able to expand FORE to other activities such as helping women learn manual arts or other activities that will help them find a job. My mind is full of ideas now, but I know that just as with my golf career, I have to take everything one step at a time. After a few days it was time to leave for Springfield, IL.
The LPGA State Farm Classic was a great event full of emotions and huge crowds. It was their 25th Anniversary, and you could feel the appreciation and joy in the atmosphere. All the volunteers, fans, and players seemed like a family - everyone knew someone from the previous years. The weather was not as nice as we would have liked, but the LPGA staff, volunteers, and State Farm staff managed to finish the event on Monday with a great turnout. I was lucky enough to finish on Sunday and leave on a charter flight to Newark with other players to participate in the LIFE Pro-Am. We played at Ridgewood Country Club and helped the Val Skinner Foundation honor heroes and raise money to find the cure for breast cancer. It was an emotional and motivating day for me. Hearing all those stories reminds me how blessed we are, and that being a professional golfer is more than winning events and traveling all over the world. We have a responsibility to society and the world. This foundation does a great job every year and would love to have everyone involved. Check out their web site www.valskinnerfoundation.org.
The next few weeks were really busy at the ShopRite LPGA Classic, the LPGA Championship Presented by Wegmans, and the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic Presented by Kroger. It was a real challenge for me to manage my time between playing the events and watching the soccer World Cup, the NBA finals, and all the UCLA matches. The highlights of these weeks were playing with the Waste Management crew at the ShopRite LPGA Classic. They were so much fun and supportive during the week. The Seaview Resort was unbelievable. I totally recommend it. It has a Red Door Spa by Elizabeth Allen which was amazing. At Rochester, going to Wegmans for breakfast, lunch, and dinner was great. It is the best grocery store ever! I wish they would open some in Colombia, lol. Then I drove to Toledo with my parents and LPGA Rookie Paola Moreno. It was fun to be in Toledo, going to Carrabbas for dinner and spending the day at Cedar Point Amusement Park. Their roller coasters are unbelievable. I had a great time. Overall it was a good experience to finally be on the road for four weeks and experience the pro life. I had my ups and downs, but it is part of the game and I feel positive about the future. Now I am back in Colombia, trying to get my British and European visas. I was so anxious to hear about the sponsor exemption into the Evian Masters and finally got the word yesterday: I am in. I also qualified through the money list for the RICOH Women's British Open. Now it is time to work on my game and make a move in Europe. As always, it was good to catch up with you guys and I promise to be back soon.
Wish you all few putts and lots of birdies -
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