Oregonian Caroline Inglis took advantage of her familiarity with Columbia Edgewater Country Club during the first round of the AmazingCre Portland Classic. The 28-year-old University of Oregon alumna lives minutes away from the course and holds membership, often playing with her husband when she’s not traveling on the Tour. However, playing in an LPGA Tour event is much different than playing as a member, as Inglis noted after her 5-under round on Thursday.
“It's just funny, like this is a course I play literally every day, like all the time when I'm just at home. So, it's just funny to see like the grandstands and all the people,” Inglis said. “It's pretty soft for normal member play, you know, you can't get the greens like crazy fast and firm (for members). I would say the greens definitely firmed up a lot since Monday, Tuesday, which is great. I love that. They're fast and they're rolling so pure.”
During the first round, Inglis hit 13 of 14 fairways and 15 of 18 greens, needing only 28 putts to earn her six birdies. Inglis named several factors that helped contribute to her success – being able to sleep in her own bed instead of a hotel, the large gallery of local supporters cheering her on and her husband’s rare presence at a tournament, to name a few. But mostly, she refused to allow herself to take her experience at Columbia Edgewater for granted.
“I was talking with my caddie, Josh, about it. I feel like it would be really easy for me to kind of get like lazy with target lines and smart choices because I probably play it a little differently in a tournament than I would just in a round on a Saturday playing with my husband and friend,” she said. “I just told him, let's pick really smart, specific targets and like smart shots. Just like stick to that game plan.”
This is Inglis’ 13th start on the LPGA Tour this season. She has made four cuts of 12 and earned her best finish of the year last week with a tie for 14th at the Kroger Queen City Championship presented by P&G. For Inglis, the 2022 season hasn’t been the one she hoped, having started the year with a lower ranking on the priority list. But she has focused on taking advantage of every opportunity she has to play, which is certainly what she did on day one in Portland.
“It's always hard when you have conditional status starting the year. I didn't get into anything until Hawaii in April, so you kind of feel like you're already behind the eight ball,” she said. “I've been trying to take the opportunities as they come and play my best… Feel like my game is in a good place and I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing and hopefully ride the momentum.”