Anne Van Dam found immense success in her four-year career on the LET. She had four wins in her career there, with three coming from the end of 2018 to March of 2019.
Her strong run of recent performances has her sitting at the top of Team Europe’s Solheim Cup points with 114. Three players will punch their ticket to Scotland by that path.
Instead of playing LET events to lock in her position in the Solheim Cup, the LPGA rookie is following through on her earlier decision.
“I made that very clear at the beginning of the year that my priority was going to be the LPGA. It won’t count towards those points, but this is where I want to play week in and week out,” van Dam told LPGA.com.
She’s appeared in six LPGA events this year, with her best performance coming in Carlsbad at the Kia Classic. The longest driver on the LPGA posted weekend rounds of 69/68 to card a T28 finish.
She now finds herself in contention, tied for the lead at (-5) through 18 for the first time in her LPGA career. The Netherlands native came into the season with tempered expectations for her maiden year.
“I learned that from my first year in Europe, for me it takes me a bit of time to get used to the rhythm and everything around it. I’ve learned a lot in the first few events. As long as I keep doing that, I think it’s going to be a good year.”
Her most important lesson has been adjusting to the conditions presented by the LPGA. “In Europe, I felt like I could hit driver everywhere. Greens are most of the times soft. Pins are not as tucked away. On bad days, I could still shoot under par quite easy. On some pins here, you have to take gas some off.”
That lesson was exemplified on her approach to the final hole today. Sitting on the last in the fairway, van Dam aimed for the front left collection area instead of the green. The pin was parked front right just in front of the bunker. Her decision set up a two putt from the fringe for her fifth birdie on the day, taking a potential miss past the green out of play.
The quality of play has inspired van Dam to continue to grow in her game. “To come out here, to know I have to continue to work hard and sharpen every aspect of my game out here because that’s what needed out here.”
She tees off first in the second round, with another opportunity to grow her game, on the 10th tee at 7:15 A.M.