Rookie diary: Hangin’ with Chris and Nancy

Aug. 1, 2010

Hey everybody! The last few weeks have been really crazy and fun. It started with the Kentucky Women’s Open at Wildwood CC in Louisville where I shot 70-72 to win by two shots over Leah Wigger and amateur Jessica Smith.

Leah and Jessica both gave me a good run the second day but a birdie on the last hole helped me secure the win. It felt good to win again even though it was a small tournament. Any win helps your confidence no matter how small the event is! The thing I was most excited about though was the big cardboard check I got! It is now on proud display in my bedroom.

After the KY Open ended, I drove straight down to Crossville, Tenn., for the Tennessee Women’s Open. I started the tournament with a 69 to take the lead, but faltered the next two days and shot 76-77 to finish T-7. Playing back-to-back tournaments with a 4 1/2 hour drive in between was a little much for me to handle.

Blackwelder’s Rookie Diary

Ever wonder what life is like for a LPGA rookie? Well, Mallory Blackwelder is here to tell you. Blackwelder, 22, will file a weekly diary on Golfweek.com to give you an insider’s view of life on the LPGA, LET and Duramed Futures Tour. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/MalBlackwelder.

After I got home from the TN Open, I had a few days to spend time at home and then I was off to Green Bay, Wis., for the Schreiber Foods pro-am. The format was a little different than the other pro-ams I have player, but it was an awesome experience for me.

There were three pros – me, Nancy Lopez and Chris DiMarco. Yes, that’s right, Nancy Lopez and Chris DiMarco! I was so unbelievably honored to be included in the pro-am with them, I felt like a fan myself.

We started the day by giving a clinic. Chris demonstrated hitting driver, Nancy taught putting and I was at the chipping station. We were wearing microphones and talking to a pretty large audience. I was nervous! I felt like I did pretty good though, and actually chipped one in when I was demonstrating. At least I looked like I knew what I was talking about!

After the clinic we played with the amateur groups. We only played 12 holes total and played each hole with a different group. It was a fun format, but I felt a little bit of pressure to play good because in a normal pro-am, the amateurs see you all day, so if you hit a bad shot, it’s no big deal because they’ll see you hit great shots later. With this format, the groups all only saw me on one hole, so I didn’t want to disappoint them.

When the tournament ended, there was a very nice dinner. At the dinner, Chris, Nancy and I went on stage, told stories and answered questions. That was a lot of fun for me because even though I was up there as one of the pros, I was able to listen to their answers and get something out of it, too.

That has probably been one of the coolest experiences for me so far this season. I was just so honored to be part of that group and get to hang around with a PGA Tour winner and one of the greatest female golfers of all time.

I am now on a plane headed to Dublin, Ireland, for the Ladies European Tour event this week. Next week I’ll play in Wales and then I’ll head back to the USA for a few weeks before returning to Europe for a few more events.

Keep your fingers crossed for me for a good couple weeks on the LET!

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