A six-time winner on the Ladies European Tour from 2010-2017, Mel Reid became a Rolex First-Time Winner in her fourth year on the LPGA Tour at the 2020 ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer. It was a moment that altered the trajectory of her career, in terms of longevity and expectations.
Now, the 34-year-old is back at Seaview, A Dolce Hotel to defend her crown in Galloway, N.J.
“I think my expectations are certainly higher. It's extremely hard to win on the LPGA. I think the strength and the depth of players out here, people don’t realize how good these girls are,” said Reid. “There's a certain amount of respect from the players when you win a tournament because people have been out here for many, many years and not been able to get over the line. It was nice to get the monkey off my back, to pull through and know that I can win out here, and it has changed my career to a certain extent. A lot more opportunities and things like that, so it was a huge moment for me.”
Reid made her first start in just over a month last week at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. She recently moved into a new home in Jupiter, Fla., so after painting during the time off and leading Team Europe to a victory at the Solheim Cup, Reid has focused on recovery every chance she gets. It’s a key component to her process that, when combined with her win on the Bay Course, has Reid thinking how long she can make a career on Tour.
“I think especially in women's golf, people retire pretty early, whether that’s because they want to have families or the girls out here are just so good, so young that they kind of burn out,” Reid said. “I kind of want to change that perception a little bit. We have the likes of Laura [Davies] and Juli [Inkster], Angela Stanford, who are playing into the later stages of their career. That's fantastic for women's golf. I would love to change the perception that you still can have a great career from the age of 34 and [beyond], like the best part of your career from 34 to 41, 42.
“I feel like I have a little bit of a voice. The better you play, people can't ignore you, so that's something that always motivates me, as well.”