INDIANAPOLIS, IN - Maria Torres was practicing Saturday evening, honing in on new swing mechanics.
In her mind, she played the rhythm of the race cars, flying around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at over 180 mph.
“I was practicing, and then I was like, I can’t focus, the sound is so good. I rode on the Indy 500! It was so cool and awesome,” Torres told LPGA.com grinning as wide as her smiley face ball marker on her hat.
Her choice to stay in the moment and enjoy the opportunity around her is a conscious decision, spearheaded by her dad, José, pushed on Torres two weeks ago.
Asking the Puerto Rican to stay in the present.
“In practice, I was getting always ahead or thinking of the future. We noticed that we needed at least to stay on the present the entire tournament. So, I’m thankful for them. I’m excited, I have to say, I really enjoy, it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to enjoy (golf) so much,” Torres explained as she teared up.
Torres dug deep the last three weeks leading into the Indy Women in Tech Championship. She spent the time at home in Puerto Rico, developing a consistent practice schedule and organizing what she needed to adjust.
She ended up adjusting her entire game.
Her effort paid off in being in the hunt as the white flag waved at the Brickyard Crossing Golf Course. Torres finished T3, her first top 10 since the CP Women’s Open in August of last year, and her best career finish ahead of a T7 at the 2018 Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic.
Staying in the present let Torres perform well in the final groups on Saturday and Sunday. Her calmness crystalized for Torres why she works so hard towards becoming the first Puerto Rican to win on the LPGA Tour.
“That you know why you started playing here, and why you played the sport,” she said. “It meant a lot. I have to keep working hard. I really want to win some day.”
With all the adjustments Torres was working through, her excitement shown like a revving engine as she chatted after play.
She wants to return to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and drive on the track, hoping to drive the fastest car in existence.
With her overhauled approach, that may be the speed Torres finds herself in the winner’s circle.