Marissa Steen asked her friend from Orlando to caddie for her at the Gainbridge LPGA Monday Qualifier. He said yes, but couldn’t help if she made it through to the tournament. But, after a 67, Steen made it through easily as the top spot in the Monday event, and after the way she played, he said he was in for the long haul. One COVID-19 test and a negative result, and she was preparing for the tournament ahead of her. Three rounds later, Steen put together a 68 on Saturday to head into the final day in a tie for eighth with Brooke Henderson and In Gee Chun at -8.
“It's been kind of a whirlwind. Been a really busy week obviously. But I think the course fits my game really well. I've played it once before this week a couple years ago and always really liked it. I always know it's this great condition,” said Steen, “I feel like really the big difference between the first round, today, and then yesterday was I just made a lot more putts. Yesterday I was all around the hole and just really didn't get them to drop. Was just a little bit off here it there. I can't telling Oren, ‘We're putting good rolls on it. It's going to be okay. We're doing good stuff.”
A rookie in 2015, Steen’s life has changed in the past couple of months since the end of the 2020 season, and it’s put her golfing career in a whole new light. While she enjoys being in contention at Lake Nona Golf and Country Club, she said there’s more to life than a good golf score.
“I did work a lot with my swing coach, but I think there was -- so actually had someone pretty close to me pass away. Actually my boyfriend's brother passed away in a car wreck just before Christmas. That put everything in perspective for me. It really -- I'm getting cold chills,” said Steen, who also said the brother was a habitual golfer and a friend on the course. “It really just made my realize that golf isn't -- I love it. It just put things in perspective. It's not the end of the world if I shoot a bad round or miss a cut. Like I said, I've just been playing very freely.”