Mina Harigae has an affinity for the greater Toledo area. In July, she earned a career-best result of a tie for second at the Marathon Classic presented by Dana just seven miles up the road in Sylvania. It was a showing that Harigae hopes carries over at Inverness Club in her first Solheim Cup appearance for Team USA.
Her success in 2021 puts her in a better place than where Harigae found herself in 2019. That year, she played the weekend only 11 times in 21 LPGA Tour starts. At one point, she missed seven straight cuts. It led to a berth in LPGA Q-Series, where Harigae finished in a tie for 20th to secure LPGA membership for the 2020 campaign.
“The last two years has been an amazing journey, from losing my [LPGA Tour] card to getting picked for the Solheim Cup,” said Harigae. “It was not even on my radar when I went through [LPGA] Q-Series. But this last year it was definitely on my mind.
“I’m so excited to be here representing the U.S. and playing with my teammates. It’s a wonderful place to be and I’m happy to be here.”
A spot on Team USA in the Solheim Cup became a possibility when she captured four wins on the Cactus Tour during the LPGA’s 2020 coronavirus hiatus. It rebooted her confidence and shaped a mentality that she can hang with the best in the world weekly on the LPGA.
Now, on the eve of the biggest moment of her career, Harigae is in a place where she knows that she belongs. And in a town that she connects with.
“I’m super glad this is my first Solheim [Cup] and on U.S. soil in Toledo, Ohio,” said Harigae, a three-time champion on the Epson Tour and 2009 graduate which first secured LPGA membership for Harigae in 2010. “We have the greatest fans here. You can see it at the Marathon Classic, tons and tons of people. It is probably one of our biggest crowds of the year. To come back here for my first Solheim Cup, I am very excited to be here.”