Number Crunching 2012: Amanda Blumenherst
Who climbed and who dropped in 2012? Through Dec. 31, Golfweek.com takes a look at players who made significant moves up or down in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index this year.
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Ranking/movement: -105 (No. 88 to No. 193)
Why the fall? The golf swing.
Blumenherst quickly acknowledges that her swing hasn’t been where she wants it to be since her senior year at Duke, where she was a four-time All-American. It has been a while since Blumenherst consistently could stand over the ball, feel comfortable and have confidence she wasn’t going to hit an errant shot.
Blumenherst, who won LPGA Q-School in 2009, spent this season fighting a low hook – or a high push when she tried to compensate for her normal left miss. As a result, she frequently hit 3-woods and irons off the tee. That took a toll on her driving statistics. She finished 133rd in driving accuracy (59 percent) and 63rd in distance (250 yards).
“It’s really hard to play golf when you have 3-iron, 3-iron into a par 4,” Blumenherst said.
In 24 starts this season, Blumenherst missed the cut 11 times, including five consecutive missed cuts beginning in early June. However, she also sprinkled in top-5 finishes at the Honda LPGA Thailand and the HSBC LPGA Brazil Cup, an exhibition event.
Blumenherst began working with Michael LaBauve, her swing coach from college, in August to help her play with more confidence and less fear off the tee. She also works with short-game coach Stan Utley. Chipping and putting are areas of Blumenherst’s game that have improved since college.
“The only silver lining that I can really find from this year was that my short game had to get a lot better to be able to compete at all,” she said.
Blumenherst says: “It would be wonderful if I could get it back to where I used to be off the tee and with my iron shots, just so I can go out and play aggressively and not play scared.”
– Julie Williams