Originally from Austin, TX, 23-year-old Kristen Gillman is ready to compete at Old American Golf Club for the third time. Not only will the experience of playing here help her this week at the Volunteers of America Classic, but the support from her home state will help keep her momentum up.
“I think it's just anytime you get to play in Texas, it's kind of a different feeling just because it brings you back to like your roots. I mean, I always love playing in Texas,” said the winner of the 2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship.
“Everyone's been texting me and asking if they can come and watch, so sadly I have to keep telling them ‘No, sorry, fans aren't allowed yet.’ I know that they're all watching and they're all excited to watch live scoring,” said Gillman. “I mean, they're just excited to be able to see me compete. Even though they won't be here in person, they can at least watch some of it on TV. I think they're excited to see me out here playing in Texas.”
Though some players from around the area may seem like they have an advantage, Gillman said this course is a lot more versatile than most think. With the event in December for the first time, she said the conditions will certainly be challenging for all.
“It's definitely different playing this late. We’re just lucky though to still be able to get this event in and we'll probably get the crazy Texas weather with the wind and the cold, but I think it's good that we're still able to get this event in. I think that this golf course is a little bit different I feel like than the typical Texas golf courses that you see. I feel like it has a little bit more links feel to it, so I just think it kind of brings out a different kind of creativity in your golf game,” said Gillman. “You kind of have to think your way about where you want to place the ball on the fairway and around the green. I feel like that it just makes it easier doing that.”