“From Augusta to Hawaii, it's not a bad life.”
No one can blame Charlotte Thomas if she’s a little jet lagged. After a tie for 63rd a week ago at The Chevron Championship in California, Thomas and fellow LPGA Tour player Gemma Dryburgh trekked more than 2,000 miles east to Georgia and a first-time trip to Augusta National Golf Club. “I nearly cried when we walked in,” said Thomas. “It was sort of what you see on TV your whole life and it's just crazy to be there in person.”
A few days later and she jetted nearly 4,500 miles west to another paradise, Hoakalei Country Club in Hawaii for this week’s LOTTE Championship. The trip was brutal on her sleep schedule, but well worth the temporary pain.
“It's always such bad timing, right, you come to Hawaii the next week,” she said. “After what happened last year, I'm like, Hey, I'm just going to do all the fun things this year that I can and like really enjoy everything that comes with having an LPGA Tour card.”
That last year that Thomas mentioned was a year spent fully away from the LPGA Tour – and life in general. Thomas had a flight lined up to return to the States from her Australian home in early 2021. Instead, she spent the next eight months battling a mysterious illness that left her unable to play or even workout.
“It's kind of a complicated long story, but I had chronic eczema basically and I was on treatments that were making worse, not better,” said Thomas, who ultimately missed the entire 2021 LPGA Tour season. “It just was like a lot of trial and error figuring it out. Yeah, it took a long time, but we found one now.”
Thomas made her return to competitive golf in January 2022 at the Australian WPGA Championship, more than a year since she’d last teed it up in competition at the 2022 CME Group Tour Championship. After six weeks of playing around Australia, she headed back to LPGA Tour life, competing at the JTBC Classic and The Chevron Championship. Seeing familiar faces and getting back into the jet-setting routine on the LPGA Tour was a welcome relief after the year of struggles.
“Where we live in Melbourne, I don't have that many good friends out there, so just to be back out here with my people is like so good,” said Thomas. “There were so many girls that FaceTimed me and got me through last year really well, but it's good to see them in person, too.”