Rookie diary: Long season taking its toll

Mallory Blackwelder talks to her caddie during the first round of the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic.

Last week, I finally got to play in my first LPGA event as a pro. I got a sponsor exemption into the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic in Toledo, Ohio. I had played there as an amateur in 2008 after winning the Monday qualifier, so I was excited that I was familiar with the course.

Unfortunately, the familiarity didn’t help me play well, and I shot 74-72 and missed the cut by four. It was still a great week, though. It really gave me a lot of motivation to work hard the rest of the year so that I’ll be ready to play well at Q-School and earn full status for next year.

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.

It has been so frustrating this year bouncing around on three different tours and trying to get all of the schedules to fit together. Now that it’s halfway through the season, I have realized that I probably should have just focused on one thing – either playing a full season on the Futures Tour or a full season on the Ladies European Tour. Now that I’ve split time on both and also tried to Monday qualify for a few LPGA events, I have spread myself really thin and I think this has affected how I’ve played in all of my tournaments.

Between the Futures Tour and the Ladies European Tour, the LET is a much better option as far as trying to make money for the season. But when the season started this year, I just didn’t feel like I was ready to go over to Europe for months at a time and be away from my friends and family.

My plan for the rest of the season is to play the Kentucky Open and the Tennessee Open, and then head back to Europe for at least five more events. When I look at my calendar, I can’t believe we’re already through to the middle of the season. Before I know it, it will be fall and it will be time to start preparing for Q-School.

I look forward to working hard the rest of the season and playing well over the next few months. I keep trying to tell myself that this is all just a learning process and that after this rookie season is over, I will know more about myself, my golf game and what it takes to be successful on tour.

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