They didn’t plan to match.
Rebecca and Geoff Artis are not a matchy-matchy couple.
Geoff, who got dressed first this morning, chose to wear his purple polo. Rebecca, unaware of what her husband and caddie had decided to wear also chose to wear a purple polo. It isn’t her favorite color or a good luck omen, but it could soon become the couple’s go-to color. The matching duo brought home a three-under par, 69 on Friday to lift Rebecca to solo fourth heading into the final two rounds of the LPGA Qualifying Tournament. She’s six-under par, two-strokes back of leader Nasa Hataoka.
“It’s been solid, just playing really steady golf, hitting a lot of good golf shots, eliminating the errors and staying patient,” Rebecca told LPGA.com after her third round, 69 on the Jones Course.
Rebecca is playing in the LPGA Qualifying Tournament for the fifth consecutive year. In 2016 and 2015 she missed the 72-hole cut. In 2014 and 2013 she made it through all five rounds but finished over par and didn’t receive any status on Tour.
“I’ve come into LPGA Q-school playing well, not playing well and I haven’t really done what I needed to do previously.”
For Rebecca, and many other players, the five-day test at LPGA International is as much about what’s happening on the course as is about what’s happening between their ears. It’s a mental test. That’s why Rebecca has struggled to earn her card in years past.
“I’ve put too much pressure on myself to get through and rather than just worrying about what I’m doing, I’m worried about the outcome of the week.”
But this year is different.
After advancing through Stage II, Rebecca wanted to keep the competitive juices flowing. She returned to the Ladies European Tour, where she has played since 2009, and posted her best finishes of the year with a T11 in Abu Dhabi and T13 in India. Then, she made a trip back home to Australia for a few days of work with her coach, Gary Edwin, who has been keeping a watchful eye on her swing since she was 15-years-old. The pair didn’t change anything, just “check the angles and go from there.”
“The preparation has been pretty good this year and I think I’ve been a little bit better mentally out here this year. I’ve just stayed every patient, just tried to hit the golf shots I wanted to hit and if I don’t pull it off, I walk up and I hit the next one. So it’s all about keeping the head in a pretty good space.”
Geoff helps with that, too. They’ve been a team on the golf course for the last eight years.
“We’re a husband and wife, so if we can stay patient together and play good golf I think that’s a key to the next two days.”
Rebecca is hoping the fifth time will be the charm. The two-time winner on the LET knows she has what it takes to compete and wants a chance to prove it on the biggest stage in golf.
“Everyone says it’s harder to get through Q-school. Once you get out there, you’ll be fine,” Rebecca said. “I feel like I’m good enough to be out there.”