This was only my second time playing in California and their poa greens are definitely different than Bermuda grass! After last week in Phoenix, I knew I needed to practice putting a lot this week! Unfortunately, the practice green was small and crowded so I did the best I could with practice. I honestly wasn’t as confident with my lag putting as I wish I could have going into the first round but Thursday quickly came and I needed to be ready. The course, Aviara was beautiful, hilly with big greens. I finally had a round where everything clicked! I made a bogey early on but bounced back with a birdie on the next hole. I had awesome touch with my lag putting and birdied my last hole to shoot 68 and was in a tie for 7th. FINALLY!! I played like I did all last year on the Symetra Tour. My host family, Lane and Bev came out and cheered me on! It was awesome to hear Lane Yeehaw and cheer really loud when I hit it close or made a birdie. It is awesome to have a support system out there when you are far from home don’t know anyone.

I was the second group off on Friday at 7:11 and warmed up in the dark. It was a little chilly and the ball wasn’t flying as far to start. On my second hole, I drove the ball into a hill in the rough and got no bounce. Let’s just say I got up and down from 30 yards for bogey. One lost shot, but no big deal. I felt a little off and wasn’t quite hitting the ball close to the hole. I lipped out a birdie putt on 7 and had a tricky birdie putt on 8, which I preceded to 3 putt. On 9 and 10, my speed was really off on the greens but made clutch par putts.

 

The thing with poa greens is that they are quicker in the morning and I couldn’t quite get the speed down. I managed to 3 putt 11 and was now sitting on the cut line. How could I be tied for 7th and now grinding to make the cut in a matter of 2 and a half hours?! On 13 I pulled my drive into trees and barely had a swing to chop it out into rough. I made another good bogey and now needed one more birdie. I gave myself a good chance on 14 and then made a great birdie on 15 with a 5 iron in my hand. Okay, breathe, I told myself. On 16 I made a poor swing but almost chipped it in. 17 is a long par 5 with a narrow landing area off the tee. I hit a great drive and walked up to find my ball sitting down in a divot. It’s already a long hole but there was no way I could get a 3 wood on this ball sitting way down. I hacked it out with a hybrid and was left with 160 into the wind with a pin that was in a bowl tucked 5 yards from the right edge of the green. Hitting a 5 iron into a par 5 isn’t ideal to hit it close but I took my medicine and played to the center of the green and just missed catching the bowl. I was sitting on the edge of the bowl with an extreme downhill 20 foot putt. I could have blown on the ball and it would have gotten to the hole. I knocked it by about 8 feet and managed to lip out the par putt. 3 putting a par 5 is not a great feeling. 18 is a tough hole but I managed to make an up and down for a par. I was sitting at even par and by the end of the day missed the cut by one.
Golf can be so fun and easy one day and such a grind the next. I put too much pressure on my putting and once again a 3 putt at the end of my round was very costly. I’m learning every week out here and these girls are good! Even par would have never missed a cut on the Symetra Tour but on the LPGA, sometimes that isn’t good enough. Thursday’s 68 showed me that I know I can play and compete out there. It only takes one good week out there to keep your card and I know I am close to that great week. I am staying positive and am working hard on my putting these 2 weeks home.

I really appreciate all of the calls, texts, and emails from those who believe in me! It’s easy to get down out there but thanks to you all, I believe in myself and know I can compete out there. Next up is Hawaii, San Francisco and Dallas. I am getting to see some awesome places this year!