Over the next several weeks LPGA.com will take a look back at Symetra Tour players landing inside the top-10. This edition of the 'Meet the Symetra Tour Grads" features Jacyln Sweeney. She had three top finishes including career best first place finish at the VisitMesa.com Gateway Classic at Longbow Golf Club. She finished ranked No. 10 in the Volvik Race for the Card and earned LPGA status for the 2014 season.
A Season of Change
Whether it is hair color, clothes or even a last name after getting married, people tend to change every day and Jaclyn Sweeney is no exception as she is changing in more ways than one in 2013.
The Bradenton, Fla. native is coming off quite the 2012 season that included one win and three additional top-10 finishes. Despite the standout year, it came up just shy of Sweeney’s expectations as she finished outside the Volvik Race for the Card top-10 at No. 12.
Determined to not let last year bring her down, Sweeney comes into this season equipped with several changes she has made in her golf game and personal life that could combine to be just what she needs to return to the LPGA Tour.
A member of the LPGA in 2011, Sweeney already has one win under her belt this year at the season-opening VisitMesa.com Gateway Classic at Longbow Golf Club. Sweeney came on strong the final day and shot a 5-under 67 and earn her second-career Symetra Tour victory which she was able to accomplish with an array of new clubs in her bag.
“My goal is to win three times this year,” said Sweeney. “I won once last year and you know, one down, two to go for me. I really want to get to the next level and I really think my game, not that it has improved, but I changed all my equipment. I sat down with my coach and said I need to change, I changed my irons, changed my wedges, my putter, three wood, and driver.”
An already decorated professional golfer, Sweeney’s golf bag isn’t the only thing that is changing in 2013. The former Arizona State University Sun Devil has made the decision to finish school and pick up another job as a hostess near her hometown of Bradenton, Fla.
Sweeney competed at Arizona State University in 2009 where she was a member of the Pac-10 and NCAA National Championship team. As one of her many responsibilities as a college student, Sweeney had to wake-up at 5:00 a.m. the Sunday of the VisitMesa.com Gateway Classic at Longbow Golf Club to study for an upcoming final.
“I also made the decision to go back to school,” said Sweeney. “I took three accelerated classes for seven and a half weeks so I have my finals next week and I went and got a job.”
Sweeney now juggles three different hats including student, professional golfer, and hostess. The XX-year-old landed a job at Eat Here in Siesta Key with a little help from her boyfriend who turned to Craigslist after Sweeney struggled to find a job.
“It’s funny because my boyfriend looked on Craigslist for me when I was looking for jobs. I was like ‘Craigslist, you have to be out of your mind, I’m not looking at Craigslist for a job.’ I had applied at a clothing store and a few other things but nobody hired me and I thought, ‘this is so depressing, I have no skills, I play golf.’ I didn’t hear back from anything, I went in and looked really nice, handed her my resume and she said they can’t have me as a waiter but we can have you as a hostess, email me when you get back in town from Boston and we will start training.
Sweeney not only landed a job as a hostess at Eat Here but it also opened her eyes to see what she does for a living on the golf course, is quite a blessing.
“I went and started working at a restaurant and it was just one of those things that I wanted to be more diverse and well rounded,” said Sweeney. “I didn’t want golf to be my life, I didn’t want to be miserable if I missed the cut or if I lose. I wanted to have a life and I think it opened my eyes up a lot that what I do is pretty great and playing golf for a career is pretty nice, I’m making money that way. It’s a nice feeling to come out here and make a nice check for a week thinking about what I would make at the restaurant.
“I think it also helped me meet other people and realize what else is out there instead of just focusing on golf, Sweeney added. “The time I have spent on the golf course has now been kind of like a vacation for me. Being outside and not being asked where to sit, or do you want that, it’s nice to be on the golf course.”