In March of 2017, Brittany Benvenuto couldn’t swing beyond 50 percent without a stinging pain down her neck and spine.
A year later, she Monday Qualified for the Bank of Hope Founders Cup along with Chandler native Kyung Kim with matching 68’s.
She’s been healthy for just a month and played in only two Cactus Tour events before surprising herself with a 68.
“It’s crazy, I talked to my parents and coach and I just can’t believe I did it,” said Benvenuto. “I’m over the moon to have the success early on and it’s just nice to be healthy and be able to swing pain-free.”
Benvenuto is in her comfort zone his week. Wildfire Golf Club feels like a home event and instead of counting on the alternate list, she earned a spot on Monday at Longbow Golf Club.
Benvenuto, who played college golf at the University of Arizona, has an uncle that lives around the corner from the course and her physical therapist Sean Flannagan, who she credits with healing her injury, is located across the street.
Benvenuto only made three starts on the Symetra Tour in 2017 before shutting it down with a herniated disc in her neck.
After re-injuring her neck several times in 2017, she finally figured out how to get back on the course.
“I don’t think I’ll ever be 100 percent, but I do daily exercises and make sure my posture is correct,” explained Benvenuto. “I have to work on my swing so I’m not irritating my neck. I don’t look at it like a burden, it’s like brushing my teeth. If it keeps me healthy and able to play the game I love, it’s way better than the alternative.”
It helps that Benvenuto played each year in the Symetra Tour event at Longbow Golf Club.
“I absolutely love that course.”
She also loves Wildfire Golf Club. She practiced there in 2015 and 2016.
She’ll make her second career start on the LPGA starting Thursday, with health now on her side.