Sorry followers! It’s been awhile since I’ve updated you but I have been one busy little golfer! I last left you off with my tournaments in Florida. I had a few days home and then packed my car for a trip to Reynolds Plantation. This is where I played the Big Break Invitational a few years ago and they gave all of us a trip back to stay at the Ritz. It was Travis’ and my 3 year wedding anniversary (man, does time fly by fast!) and we figured that was a perfect place to celebrate. We got to play Lake Oconee Golf course and Great Waters where we played the competition. It was a fun, relaxing getaway and we have decided that it would be a dream of ours to have a retirement home in Reynolds Planation one day. It is a beautiful place just east of Atlanta!
I then played 3 tournaments in a row: Greenwood, SC, Charlotte, NC, and Atlanta, GA. Greenwood was the biggest purse of the year and after my struggles of not making a lot of putts at the beginning of the year, I tried to switch up my putting routine. Wrong decision! Two bad rounds mixed with bad luck and bad putting resulted in a MC (Missed Cut). I was so frustrated and upset that I was trying to figure out if this game was worth the heartache. My in-laws were in town and we already paid for our house that we rented so we stayed and tried to make the most out of it and rented a boat. I think in hindsight, that MC was the best thing for me. I played well in Charlotte just didn’t make enough putts (story of my year) and had an unfortunate double on my last hole to go from a top 5 finish to a Tied for 16th. Ouch.
My next event was in Atlanta, Georgia and I was so excited about this event. I stayed with my childhood best friend, her husband and adorable daughter. I also had Aunts, Uncles, and Grandparents there all week to cheer me on. The course is a Pete Dye design with some funky holes. There were some spots that if you got into them, good luck getting out! Well, I found a few of them and settled for a tied for 23rd finish.
Hopefully you’re not too tired from reading yet because here is where I found my golf game. Our Atlanta tournament finished on a Saturday and I had my U.S. Women’s Open qualifier on Monday in Atlanta. Thirty Six holes of golf walking in one day, Eighty-Eight girls competing for two spots. Longest day in golf! I was one over through 9 holes and missed a few short birdie putts. Travis game me a little pep talk about my putting and how I have to believe in my line and see the ball going in. After that, something clicked and I preceded to shoot 69-71. Solid golf on a hilly course in one day. The crazy thing about the 71 is that I doubled my 15th hole and then birdied 16 and 17. I’ve learned how to fight back and make birdies at the end when I really need them. I then waited almost an hour and a half until I found out I would be in a playoff for that last spot. It was 8:00 p.m. when we started the playoff and I knew we would be fighting daylight. We both made par on our first hole and then, on the second hole, I striped an eight iron right at the flag and knocked a nine foot putt in to advance to the Open. I’ve never been more proud of myself than that moment. I had been struggling so much with my putting that it was an overwhelming feeling to make a putt to advance to the Open. Travis told me that this was the jumpstart I needed for the rest of my year (boy was he right!) What was even more fun, is that it was my mom’s birthday and she and my Aunt walked with us all day!
We celebrated after and then I got about three hours of sleep before I was on my way to the airport to catch a flight to Boston for my next Symetra tournament (the living the dream part that people don’t really know about!) My dad flew up to caddie in Boston and saw that I was exhausted to say the least! I hardly practiced and really tried to rest a lot. I could tell I was still tired on my first nine holes on Friday. I was five over through eight holes and looked at my dad and said what is happening!? I woke up and shot two under on the back nine and then followed up with two rounds of 68 to finished tied for 13th. I knew I was close to a breakthrough.
Luckily, that breakthrough happened the next week in Albany! This tournament has always been special to me. My first professional event was at this tournament in 2008 shortly after my college graduation. My parents grew up in that area so we have lots of family friends still up there. In fact, I had more people following me in Albany than I did at any events in Florida! I put together two solid rounds to start the tournament and found my name at the top. Sleeping on the lead is never easy and my nerves were tested early on Sunday. I quickly lost the lead and was two down going into the back nine. I told myself tournaments aren’t won until the back nine on Sunday. I made three birdies in my last six holes to tie for the lead and go into a playoff. It had rained off and on throughout the day and was very windy. I had so much confidence going into the playoff since I had just won a playoff two weeks before for the Open. On the second playoff hole, my opponent made a few mistakes and had about an eight footer for bogey. I was safely on the green and all I had to do was two putt from about twenty-nine feet to win. I had been leaving putts short ALL day so I told myself not to leave this one short. From the video, it looked pretty fast but from my angle, it looked perfect! I dropped it right in the middle of the cup and it was an awesome feeling knowing I won it in front of family and friends with my dad on the bag (second win with him!) I also won a new Kia for winning! Such an awesome experience and one I will never forget.
I flew home for a much needed week off. I had played five tournaments in a row so I took nearly the entire week off at home from golf to relax and give my body a break. I then drove with my friend Alex, to South Bend and Travis flew up a few days later to come caddie for me. A lot of people were questioning why we can’t win when Travis is on the bag. I think because he is my swing coach I rely too much on him on the course so he told me, whatever you did with your dad on the bag, do the same thing. I read my own putts mostly and brought him in when I had questions on a read or on which club to choose if I was in-between clubs and he definitely saved me a few shots. I was five back going into Sunday and I caught fire in the middle of my round. I birded four holes in a row and quickly found myself on top of the leaderboard. I made an unfortunate bogey on #16 but then striped a seven iron on the par three 17th to four feet to head to #18 with the lead.
  There were a few groups to finish behind me so I couldn’t celebrate quite yet but once it was official, my friends Alex, Sara-Maude, and Therese doused Travis and I in water to celebrate.
We finally got the monkey off our back with him winning on the bag! I can’t believe I won back to back events again this year! It must be a good luck charm for me 🙂 We had members from our home club, Meadowood and my in-laws there to cheer us on. It was wonderful to win on Father’s Day with my Father-in-law there to see my win for the first time in person.
The next event was in Harris, Michigan (the UP). Travis was leading a summer camp back home so I signed up for my first volunteer caddie of the year. He did an awesome job and said he knew the three rules of caddying: Show up, Keep up, and Shut up, haha. I nearly came close to winning again but finished for a tied for 2nd. I am so excited for the rest of the year. Last year after I won twice, I didn’t have anything to play in for a few months. Being able to win in the middle of the season with lots of golf left gets me excited about the rest of the year! I was asked to appear on the Golf Channel’s Morning Drive again and got to hit on the simulator again. It was a great experience and I always have fun there! This time I was interviewed for Fairways of Life as well.
I am home now and heading to the U.S. Open on Sunday. Be sure to follow along on USGA and Fox. You can also follow shot by shot on Twitter @jackoswackos    Thank you to everyone who has reached out with your support, it truly means the world to me! Thanks to all of the sponsors of the Symetra tour events and especially my sponsors, Ping, 2GG Apparel, Meadowood Golf and Tennis Club, Titleist and Footjoy. Thanks to all of my host families these past few months: The Mauneys, Jones, Viventis, Reeds, Barnums and Chuck Sullivan. You all hold a special place in my heart for spoiling me while staying at your house! Thanks to all of the Wackos for coming out to watch in my last few months! One of the girls on tour told me every time she sees me, I always have people following. I truly do have the best support system out there and I can’t thank you all enough for your encouragement and Wacko Waves!