Experience is something we all want without having to go through the pain of gaining it. But despite our biggest wishes, we have to walk through the fire to exit with the kind of embers that arm us for the next blaze. Whether we exit with a light burn, a 3rd-degree, or untouched with glowing skin, we develop a stronger mindset.
While the players this week wish to be fireside, the onset of a cold front on the west coast of Florida has proven to be a new test of mental fortitude. Some players are in their first go-around of Q-School while other veterans lean on previous experience and years in the game.
Kim Kaufman is drawing on nine years in professional golf to make her charge back onto the LPGA Tour. Following her time in Lubbock at Texas Tech University, in 2013 Kaufman began her professional career on The Epson Tour. That year she recorded one win and finished tied for 23rd in the final stage of Q-School to earn her LPGA Tour Card for the 2014 season. From 2014 to 2020, she played a full schedule on the LPGA. At the conclusion of 2020, Kaufman fell below the top 100 on the money list and has since then has been playing on the Epson Tour to climb her way back.
With such a decorated resume, Kaufman has a bookshelf of experience to help her move on to Q-Series. That is needed given the unexpected chilly temperatures and difficult conditions at Plantation Golf Club.
“I think we always say that half the field will let this really get to them, and we work really hard on knowing that you might get some bad breaks or some tough holes. But we work a lot on acceptance,” said Kaufman. “Just accept that and move on, because everyone is going to have it. You just have to stay relentlessly positive.”
Moving on is exactly what Kaufman is hoping for this week. Finishing in the top 45 will earn her a spot in Q-Series, one step closer to reclaiming her LPGA Tour status. With that being said, she understands there is still a lot of golf in front of her.
“Yeah, I think I remind myself there is a ton of golf left. Whether you’re 80th or 20th, there is so much golf left. But it's good to obviously start playing pretty well.”
Kaufman heads into the weekend at 1-over par and tied for 38th. With her strong mindset and years of experience, a steady finish on the weekend could have her heading back where she feels she belongs.