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10 Apr 2013

Beginning of my first season as a professional golfer

Author: Marita Engzelius:-)  /  Categories: News  / 

My first season as a professional golfer has started and I have learned a lot already:-) I started of in Australia where I did not get in, but I was able to watch and also support my fellow Norwegian Marianne Skarpnord:-) 

My next trip was to The States, and I started it all in Phoenix. I played a small event at The Cactus Tour and I shot 70-70-76. After that event I had some days practicing, but I was also fortunate to see my old team from college since they were playing a tournament in Phoenix. I then played the Monday Qualifier and while struggeling some from tee to green I had a fantastic day at the greens with only 22 putts. I was happy to sign 69 on my scorecard. However, it turned out that 66 ended up being the magic number that day. A tough field when 90 players competing against two spots. With one week left in Phoenix it was great to pick up my Coach, Jonas Lilja, at the airport. We had a great week together where we got to practice at great facilities (where the LPGA tournament was being played) and also watch and get inspired by some great golf. Maybe the week highlight was the club fitting at PING. Great help, technology and people gave me a fantastic day! My new G25's was ready to be picked up two days after the fitting:-) Real Custom fitting at a high level!

Club Fitting PING

My trip then went to San Diego for another Monday qualifier. I should probably clarify why I have to play all these qualifiers. With my status at the LPGA, it is hard to get into tournaments in the beginning of the season when everyone wants to play. As of right now I am number 167 on the priority list (the list of who wants to get into tournaments). In a normal field at the LPGA it is 144 players, which means if everyone in front of me plays I will be number 23 on the alternate list. Last year the player who had my number got into 10 events, however, nothing is guranteed. Also, an important factor is that it will be a reranking twice this season, and I will be able to advance on the list if I am able to get into any events and play well. This is my reason for traveling to all the Monday qualifiers, so I can hopefully move up the priority list and get more starts after the reranking.

A lot of explanations.... Hopefully it was useful for some of you:-)

I then got to San Diego Sunday evening and after 6 hours of sleep (with me waking up every hour) I left the hotel ready to prove I can make the qualifier and the LPGA event that week. Arriving at the course I was met with a small putting green and a hitting area into a net. I was able to get to a range close by and the caddie I had hired (after many phone calls of getting in contact with one) was on time, on site and on my bag. (Just for information; in LPGA qualifying rounds, practice round, and tournament round you are required to have a caddie). Teeing off I was ready to chase my dream and go low. With no practice round before this tournament I encountered problems of getting used to the different conditions at the course. The greens were very soft and I went from having to carry the ball 20 yards in front of the pin to getting backspin. Very different and I had to make adjustments momentarily. A little doubt was brought into my head when choosing clubs. Not a good thing when having to preform at a high level. Getting back my confidence on the back nine (even par) I signed my scorecard at 76, not good enough this week. I was however happy with my new clubs and what I had been working on together with Jonas seemed to work. I also probably learned an important lesson this week; pactice rounds are taking place for a reason and I will do everything in my power to have one from now on.

Finishing my round I went to the hotel I was going to stay at for the night. I got to the wrong hotel (two hotels with the same name 10 min apart) and I desided before I was going to move to the correct hotel that I would check for flights to Orlando (where it was a Symetra Tour event being played the same week). The last one to leave that day was 1,5 hours later, and it was 40 min to the airport without traffic. I decided I was going to book the flight and try to make it (since this was the only chance for me making time for a practice round before pro-am). I left the hotel 1 hour and 5 min before my flight was leaving, and when I got to the airport I found out that this was my lucky plane-day:-) The plane being 20 min late and me making it was great! Landing in Orlando after midnight without a rental car or hotel was another challenge on my trip. Walking down the row of rental car companies I was happy to see they were still open, however not so happy hearing that they were all out of cars. Fortunatly the last company was able to provide me with one. Then, calling three hotels before I got a room and a 2 hour drive I finaly arrived after a loooong day. I ended up not making the cut, but was very happy I could go home for easter and think back and learn from my experiences.

Now, ready for new trips, events: and knowledge-)

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11 comments on article "Beginning of my first season as a professional golfer"

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