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 Cydney Clanton. She had four top finishes including career best first place finishes at the Four Winds Invitational. She finished ranked No. 5 in the Volvik Race for the Card and earned LPGA status for the 2014 season.
Everything Happens for a Reason
In life, they say everything happens for a reason and for Cydney Clanton, this old adage provides the perfect summary for her recent week.
Golf has always come natural for Clanton who began playing the game at the age of 10 when she picked it up at a family golf tournament. Despite her natural talent which helped propel Clanton to an impressive amateur and collegiate career, the Auburn University graduate began to doubt her career as a professional golfer in recent months.
“I started when I was about 10,” said Clanton. “My whole family plays, my mom’s side and my dad’s side. We actually have a family golf tournament in November because both of my grandfather’s birthdays fall within three weeks of each other so we have a big Clanton/Sharp reunion tournament. It’s hilarious.”
Clanton’s professional golf campaign began immediately after recording two victories at Auburn University. The Concord, N.C. native finished tied for ninth at the 2011 LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament allowing her to compete on the big stage of the LPGA Tour the following year.
After a tie for 19th at the season-opening event in Australia, struggles ensued for Clanton as she went on to miss 11 cuts in the next 14 events.
This year on the LPGA Tour, Clanton’s status has only allowed her to compete in two tournaments, but she missed the cut at both. Due to her limited status on the LPGA Tour, Clanton has made the commitment to compete solely on the Symetra Tour for the remainder of the season.
While playing on the Road to the LPGA this season, Clanton got off to a quick start with a season-best tied for third finish at the VisitMesa.com Gateway Classic at Longbow Golf Club. After her impressive start, Clanton’s season began to quickly go downhill with a disqualification and two missed cuts in the next three events.
The difficult start to the season left the Auburn University graduate questioning her future as a professional golfer.
“Honestly yeah, a little bit,” said Clanton when asked if she was contemplating stepping away from the game. “I had an opportunity come my way and I debated it for a while because I love coaching, I love helping. But I am also very competitive and my parents, they said keep hanging in there, keep hanging in there and all my support at home was like its coming, you just have to stay patient and that’s what I did and to finally come out, it was rewarding, it was nice.”
While debating her next professional move, Clanton stepped-up and won last week’s Four Winds Invitational in dramatic fashion with a seven-hole playoff. The win not only helped boost Clanton’s confidence but further solidified that everything happens for a reason as she is in the right place competing in this week’s Island Resort Championship at Sweetgrass.
“It does a lot,” said Clanton on how the win helped boost her confidence. “It is also good to know that I’m in the right place. To win it and to have the confidence to know that you’re doing what you need to be doing, is a huge confidence boost. But the thing about it is, it’s a new week and it’s something you have to hold onto the good memories but you also have to forget about it because it’s a new week and it’s a good start.”