Q-Series can be a bittersweet competition, particularly for those players who already hold LPGA Tour status. Mariah Stackhouse would certainly rather be home in Atlanta than five hours away in southern Alabama. But after a season that didn’t live up to her demanding standards, the five-year Tour veteran is all business this week at Magnolia Grove, focusing on improving her putting ahead of this two-week marathon.
“I'm feeling good about my game. I definitely feel like I can get the job done, do what's necessary,” said Stackhouse, who finished the year 150th in the Race to the CME Globe. “I think it's an opportunity for me to kind of put the stressors from this season behind me and try to head into next season on a better note. So hopefully the stuff I've been working on pans out.”
In 2017, Stackhouse became the seventh African American player in history to earn an LPGA Tour card, following in the footsteps of the trailblazers who came before her. As a leading ambassador for changing the face of the game, Stackhouse was particularly touched at the overwhelming response to the recent death of Lee Elder, the first African American player to compete in The Masters. While she never had the chance to meet him, Stackhouse spoke of the grace and passion he displayed throughout a long life devoted to a greater cause.
“He broke through the game at a time when it wasn't necessarily welcoming for him, and so to continue to be the champion that he was both on and off the course was huge,” said Stackhouse. “It's great to see so many people honoring his legacy today both inside the golf world and out. That's a true testament to what his impact was in the world of sports in general. He's definitely one of those trailblazers of his generation, and I'm glad that his legacy was recognized while he was here and will continue to be while he's gone.”