Player diary: Nicole overcomes rough start in Texas
Traveling to tournaments in the beginning of the year requires a rental car to get around for the week.
Nicole Noelle Smith
Nicole Noelle Smith is an up-and-coming player on the LPGA Futures Tour. Nicole will be bringing you her story in 2011 through her own, exclusive blog on Golfweek.com
To me, it is like a week's worth of test-driving and figuring out my likes and dislikes of the car, and adding those thoughts to my mental checklist for when I buy a new vehicle.
For the longest time I wanted an SUV, and in the Fall I even looked into getting a new car- but it was way out of my price range. This week I had a delightful midsize car, and with the way gas prices are going, it really made me change my mind.
New goal set: Buy a nice sporty, midsize gas-efficient car!
This thought isn't as random as you think, as I am about to pack my life into my 2004 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart and driving to Iowa and around the country for the final 13 weeks of the season. I love my little car, but, well, it is little. It is very hard to fit my life and clubs into such a little car for three months. Hopefully this will be the year I can retire the Ralli ... we shall see.
Back to the course...
This week on the course was a great one, with my parents both arriving in San Antonio on Thursday to support me at the Futures Tour's Symetra Classic. My dad played the roll of caddie this week, or as I call him "Daddy Caddy." He doesn’t play golf, but always knows just what to say when I need to calm down, refocus, or just laugh. I absolutely love having him out there with me, a great five hours that is just ours.
On the other hand, my mom is the best cheerleader to have walking along the course. What I love the most is she is a horribly noisy golf spectator. When I make a birdie she claps the loudest, or she gets so excited and yells! Even when I am frowning she smiles this little smirk that says, “I am here for you and love you.” It gives me a boost, knowing she is there supporting me no matter what.
Also my housing provider came out this week to watch and support me in San Antonio as well! He is such a huge support of mine, and I feel so lucky to have met him and become close like family.
I started the tournament rough, posting a not-so-pretty 79 in the first round, as the winds gusted up to 40 mph. I was able to jump up the leaderboard by more than 50 spots on Saturday, posting a 69.
Sunday was a roller coaster for me, not picking up my first par until the eighth hole and had to settle for a final-round 74 and a tie for 17th. I lacked confidence with my putting, which was frustrating since I put so much time back home to fix it. I guess sometimes it just takes a tournament or so to get used to an adjustment. Plus golf is not about being perfect; it is about getting the ball in the hole. Back to the practice green for me!
All said and done, my game was good enough to put $1,005 into the bank!