A Change in Perspective
Julieta Granada’s new approach to the 2012 season
It’s been nearly six years since Julieta Granada set a then-rookie record for the most money earned with more than $1.6 million, ending the season with an LPGA record $1 million paycheck at the ADT Championship. Granada was the first Paraguayan-born player to win on the LPGA Tour, going on to make 27 of 31 cuts with six additional top-10 finishes including two runner-ups.
But in the years to follow, Granada was overwhelmed with continuous changes to her golf game.
“I just thought it was going to be that easy and I expected to win every week,” says Granada. “But I changed a little bit of my golf game so that didn’t really help. Like I was expecting to shoot 5 under but I was shooting 2 over. But I really wasn’t putting pressure on myself, I just wanted to get better and by getting better I made some bad decisions which cost me a little bit. But I’m ok with that.”
In 2007, she recorded three top-10s with two runner-up finishes and a tie for 10th at the U.S. Women’s Open. But between 2008 and 2010, she missed 34 of 61 cuts with a best-finish of 12th place at the Longs Drug Challenge. Despite the divots in her career, the 25-year-old discovered a lot about herself and golfer she wanted to be.
“I had just a lot of growing up to do during those seasons,” she says. “I mean I had to really figure out my way. You don’t learn it by someone else doing it for you, so you just kind of have to ride the wave. It was a tough stretch. I was just trying to find myself. First of all I was trying to find my swing and my ball striking and after I found that I needed to find a way to build my confidence back up.”
Granada saw a glimmer of hope in 2011 after starting the season off with her first two top-10 finishes since 2007. Despite missing nine cuts that season, Granada changed her focus, switched coaches and began searching to bring back the magic from her rookie season.
“I saw some great signs last year, finishing high in a couple tournaments,” says Granada. “I wasn’t really expecting to just get out of the gates and play well, but I know that I’m working things right and doing things so much better.”
Even through the roughest patches in her career, Granada has continuously displayed a jovial and optimistic spirit on the course. She enters the 2012 season with her perpetual smile, affable character and a whole new attitude.
“I’m sort of going back to my approach I had my rookie year,” says Granada. “Everything is new and everything is exciting. So this year, that’s the attitude I want to have at every tournament. What a blessing it is to play! The years before I didn’t have that attitude, I lost it somehow but even still I always tried to play my best. We’re so blessed to have this opportunity and I just want to keep that as my front page. Let’s not get caught up in results and scores and all that.”
Granada’s fresh approach this year landed her in the midst of a six-way sudden-death playoff at the season opener in Australian. Although she tied for second, she now feels that her new approach will yield better results this season.
“Losing in a playoff in Australia was just great,” she says. “I felt comfortable the whole week. I’m happy and relaxed and everything is just simpler. It’s just a matter of time. My confidence is definitely back and obviously the second place finish helps a lot.”
Rather than setting specific statistical goals this season, the more mature and ever positive Granada has set a more general and perceptual direction for herself and her career.
“My main goal this year is to just enjoy each round,” she says. “I mean we’re playing golf for a living, what a great life. I just want to enjoy it and put things into perspective and not get caught up in ‘oh, I made a bogey’ or ‘oh my gosh, I got a birdie.’ I just want to enjoy each moment, enjoy each city that we go to and just keep things really simple.”