Mackenzie relies on brother for support, motivation
BY NEAL REID
When Paige Mackenzie needs a sympathetic ear, a measure of advice or even a kick in the pants, she turns to one person: her older brother, Brock.
The fifth-year LPGA Tour pro often relies on her brother’s counsel and relies on him to serve as a sounding board or source of compassion as she navigates her way through the tough rigors of competing on the road week-in and week-out. Brock knows exactly what she’s going through, as he is fighting many of the same battles on the Nationwide Tour.
Mackenzie, who began playing golf at the age of 3, relishes her close relationship with her brother and knows it’s one of the keys to her success.
“We’ve lived and practiced together in the offseason ever since I turned pro,” Mackenzie said of her brother. “It’s nice to have somebody to not only practice with, but who is on your side and wants you to get better. He’s able to say things to be that my coach probably wouldn’t, because he’s my big brother and he’s not afraid to hurt my feelings. But sometimes, that’s what makes me better.
“I was pushed, teased and beaten up, and he made me who I am, as far as being tough, competitive and athletic. He’s a big part of why I ended up out here.”
Mackenzie and Brock grew up playing sports, each playing soccer and basketball on their high school teams. The siblings attended the University of Washington together, where they both became the top-ranked players on their respective squads.
Mackenzie struggled for a few years after joining the Tour in 2007, but has had $100,000 seasons in 2009 and again this year. She has implemented some swing changes along the way, and her brother has been by her side through all of the ups and downs.
“We have a unique relationship, because we understand each other’s lives more than most,” she said. “We can talk about it and be open about everything. You really can’t talk to your peers about everything, so it’s nice to be able to talk to your brother about it. I think that’s really special to have that kind of relationship. I don’t have to explain myself to him, because he gets it and knows what I’m going through and vice-versa.”
Neal Reid is a freelance writer based in Colorado Springs, Colo., who spent six years as a media relations coordinator for the LPGA from 1998-2004. He has written for The Associated Press, Colorado Springs Gazette, Oakland Tribune, Contra Costa Times and the San Jose Mercury News, among many others.