DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Mel Reid seemed so relaxed to start the week. The British star, easily one of the favorites to win LPGA Q-School, was poised to make a fresh start in 2013.
Alas, her game has yet to show up. Reid opened Q-School with abysmal rounds of 79-76 over the two courses at LPGA International. The top 20 players will earn their cards for next season, and Reid is tied for 108th. With three rounds left, it’s certainly possible for her to make a tremendous run up the board. But it will take all the talent in her fit little frame to get the job done.
To say this has been a trying year for Reid wouldn’t even begin to put her nightmares into perspective. The fair-haired blonde from Derby, England, lost her beloved mother, Joy, on May 23 while Reid was playing in Germany on the Ladies European Tour. Joy and her husband, Brian, were on their way home from a player party when they endured a head-on car collision near Munich.
Reid took three weeks off before returning to competition in Prague. After arriving too late to play a practice round, Reid found herself in contention to win on Sunday. She made a 6-footer on the last green to secure the title.
That was an obvious high point for the 25-year-old, though bittersweet with her mother not there to celebrate.
A tremendous low came in August at the Ladies Irish Open, when an overwhelmed Reid walked off the golf course. The event was held at Killeen Castle, site of the 2011 Solheim Cup, where Europe had won in stirring fashion. Walking down the 17th hole (her eighth of the day), Reid turned to caddie Johnny Scott and said she couldn’t do it anymore. The memories from the Solheim Cup, an event that Joy loved, were too much to bear.
“She just went home,” Scott said. “Back to her dad.”
In retrospect, Reid said she probably should have played less in 2012, focusing only on the majors.
“After my mom died, my life did a 180,” said Reid, who moved back home with her father. She’s thinking about selling the home she had and buying a new one as a fresh start.
The LPGA also would have been a new chapter for Reid, who planned for her father to travel with her quite a bit next year. With Reid ranked 67th in the world, the LPGA seemed an overdue step for one of the most talented players to come out of England since her idol and good mate Laura Davies hit the world scene.
Reid certainly deserves good things to come her way. If not this week, then sometime very soon.