This is my first blog of 2012 (officially my rookie campaign) so let me provide you with a bit of background information on myself.
I started playing golf at the age of 12 under the tutelage of my grandfather. Following a successful junior career I was recruited to play my college golf at Vanderbilt University, where I am proud to say I am an alumni of now. After four grueling academic years (yes I made it through in four years) I decided to take some time off from golf and Caddie at the Ritz Carlton Golf Club in Orlando, FL.
I recently started playing competitive again in the summer of 2011 in the SunCoast Series based out of Orlando. From there I garnered category 16 status on the LPGA by finishing t-20th at final stage of Q School. This is where the blog officially begins.
My caddie, Philip Wolfe, and I drove up on Sunday night to Mobile, AL from the Symetra Tour event in Sarasota. I finished 4th there, having held a share of the lead for the first two rounds. We did this to make sure we made the 1pm tee time for the Monday qualifier at the RTJ Crossings course.
I was running on fumes that Monday to say the least. It appeared to Alex (my playing partner in the Monday qualifier) and I that we were behind time and sure enough there was a rules official on the 15th tee. Exhausted and mentally drained from the Sarasota event Phil and I were very happy to hear that I had got into the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic through the alternate list and would not have to hand in a score card for the Monday qualifier. No offense to all the rules officials but that is the first GREAT news I've heard from a rules official that I can remember, especially during a tournament round. So it was then on the 15th tee that my first LPGA event week officially started.
The next day I played my first nine holes of the practice round with former SEC conference rival Stacy Lewis and good friend Alison Walshe. It was nice to catch up with these girls and see their development as players from college to the professional ranks. As they went to lunch at the turn Phil and I kept trucking along to the 10th tee. I hear some footsteps running toward me down the hill saying "Jacqui Jacqui do you mind if we join you for the back nine?" it was Morgan Pressel, and not far behind her was Paula Creamer.
After an enjoyable back nine playing with two girls I looked up to in junior golf, I sat in the car with Phil and said "welcome to LPGA playing with Stacy, Alison, Morgan, and Paula in the same day." we chuckled and grabbed dinner coming up with a game plan for the golf course. On Wednesday we played an E9 (emergency 9) at 6:45 in the morning with Alison. This is the final preparation for the tournament before the pro-am occupies the course for the rest of the day.
Thursday the event started with a roller coaster first round posting a 73, I felt good going into Friday. I got off to a hot start going out in 33 on Friday. I was feeling a bit of pressure to make the cut, but managed a 38 to post a 71 and even par for the tournament. Good enough to make the cut in my first LPGA event. After making the cut I was a little drained not being use to the 72 hole events and stumbled on Saturday to a 77.
Sunday had to be one of the must fun rounds of golf of my life. After all I was playing on SUNDAY in my first event. It was my best ball striking round of the year, but still struggling to score I shot a final round 73 and was able to take so much out of the week!! I look forward to my next event on the LPGA and am continuing to enjoy the process and learn along the way as well. Until next time!! Go New Jersey Devils and Yankees!!