This week at the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give marks 2023 LPGA Tour rookie Manon De Roey’s fifth start of the 2023 season, and through 36 holes, the 31-year-old Belgian is taking advantage of this latest opportunity. After opening with a 2-under 70 on Thursday at Blythefield Country Club, the Ladies European Tour winner fired one of the week’s lowest rounds, a scorching 7-under 65 that saw her make one bogey and eight birdies, including four consecutively from No. 7 to No. 10. The 65 is De Roey’s second-lowest career round on the LPGA Tour – she shot a 64 in the final round of the 2021 Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open – and catapulted her up the leaderboard and into contention with the weekend on deck in Belmont, Mich.
“Overall today was very solid. I mean, I hit some really good shots in there. Created some good chances for myself. I just stayed patient throughout the whole round so I that helped I think,” said De Roey, whose best finish in her four previous starts this season is 73rd. “It’s my first year out here on the LPGA, so I'm just trying to make cuts actually. Last week was my first cut I made, so that got me some confidence for this week. But today was just very solid, so very happy.”
Though she’s had a rough go of it in her rookie season on the LPGA Tour, De Roey has managed to find plenty of 2023 success on the LET, recording four top-10 finishes in eight starts this season, including a tie for third at the Saudi Ladies International. Carrying plenty of confidence from that made cut at the ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer with her to Michigan, De Roey knew that this week at the Meijer LPGA Classic could be a good one, especially considering how she feels about the golf course.
“I feel like always your first cut you make it's very mentally draining I feel like, so the last round was not so good last week, but I think it gives you confidence and you know you can do it, so gives me confidence for this week,” she said. “I really like this course. It suits my game, so I was very excited before the tournament already, so I think that just helped during the tournament as well. You have a lot of chances here, so you have to take advantage of that and hit some good shots and it will drop.”
And it also is helping quite a bit that she has a bit of a secret weapon on her bag this week: Gemma Dryburgh’s regular caddie, Paul Heselden. “(Paul) has a lot of experience on Tour so it’s really nice to have him here for these two weeks. I think we just make a good game plan throughout the week during the practice rounds, and just stick to it,” said De Roey. “I was always trying to have local caddies or people I knew, but I think someone with some experience, I feel like that definitely helps out here. It’s been working great. Made my first cut and now I'm doing pretty good.”