It’s has been a while since my last blog, and I have so much to share with y’all! I haven’t slowed down one bit from my crazy summer. I’ve just transitioned into a hectic, but exciting first three weeks of college!
At the beginning of August, I was honored to represent the United States in the Junior Solheim Cup for the second time. I was playing alongside 11 other American junior golfers against some of the best junior players Europe had to offer. I already knew that the week was going to be special but I was overwhelmed when I showed up for the Junior/Am and found out that I was playing with John Solheim. Mr. Solheim is the Chairman and CEO of PING. We had a great foursome and enjoyed the perfect Colorado weather for 18 holes. I was honored to be chosen as his partner.
One of the things I like the most about team competition is being partners with some of my friends that I usually am playing against. I played with one of my best friends, Karen Chung in my first match then played alternate shot with my friend and roommate for the week, Nicole Morales. The third match was singles and I played against Germany’s best player, Carolin Lampert. We pulled together as a team and the United States defeated Europe again and retained the Junior Solheim Cup. Having Kathy Whitworth as our captain was an amazing experience. She graciously answered all of the many questions we asked of her. We know that the advise received and experiences shared with Captain Whitworth will be some of our most cherished golf memories. Being around such a legend for the week was very special for the whole team.
Before the opening ceremony for the Solheim Cup, I was one of three Americans chosen to play with LPGA legends against three European teams in a three hole shootout. I was partnered with Rosie Jones, who is also a Georgia girl and has played and captained a Solheim Cup so she was full of experience and knowledge! It was awesome to get to know Rosie and talk to her about her experiences and listen to all the advice she had to give me. We actually won the shootout when I had to play a chip off against Alison Lee. It was crazy to grow up watching these ladies on TV and then to have them giving me insight and telling stories about their time on tour. It was something I will never forget.
When the Solheim Cup got started, our team was able to go out on the course and follow from inside the ropes. I definitely learned a lot from getting to see what it takes to play the game at such a high level. Hearing those crowds and seeing all the spectators get fired up and be so passionate about the players from their team was so inspiring and makes me want to work even harder to get to that point in the future.
After the Solheim Cup, I made my transition to “Tiger Town” Clemson, S.C., to begin my college golf career at Clemson University. Classes have been going well so far. Between workouts, practice, and studying, there isn’t much time for anything else. It has definitely been an adjustment to get used to the rigorous schedule but it has been a great experience so far.
The inaugural Women’s Team made our debut to the college scene at the Cougar Classic in Charleston, S.C. As a team of “rookies,” all of us were a little anxious to figure out how the whole college golf world works. I shot 72-69 the first 2 days and we gave ourselves a six-shot lead at 9 under par with one round to play. Individually, I was three shots behind the leader and looking forward to making a run on Day 3. Unfortunately, we came up one shot behind as a team and I was 1 shot behind the individual leader. The final round was a great learning experience for us. All things considered, it was a solid start to our college careers for five freshman.
Now, it is back to work here in Clemson. We are getting ready to leave next Wednesday for Furman University where we will compete next weekend. I definitely have things to work on before heading to Greenville, but we are ready to get out there and take another swing!
“Never give up, never give in, and when the upper hand is ours, may we have the ability to handle the win with the dignity that we absorbed the loss.” – Doug Williams