LYTHAM ST. ANNES, England – There’s only one American name in the top 10 at the Ricoh Women’s British Open and it’s none of the usual suspects. Mina Harigae, a 28-year-old who as recently as last year questioned whether she even wanted to carry on toiling in the professional ranks, holds a share of seventh place after three rounds at taxing Royal Lytham.
Harigae hasn’t made a cut in a major since 2015 and recorded only a pair of top-10 finishes in the last four seasons.
“I wasn’t having fun anymore on the golf course,” said Harigae. “I was really lost, honestly, and finally this past offseason, I felt better.”
To get to this point, Harigae underwent a complete overhaul, returning to the swing coach of her youth, hiring a new sports psychologist and employing the putting wisdom of her caddie/boyfriend Travis Krieter.
Harigae grew up in Monterey, Calif., where her parents own a sushi restaurant. She won the first of four California Women’s Amateur Championships at the age of 12. She was a regular contender at USGA championships, winning the 2007 U.S. Women’s Amateur Pubic Links.
After a short stint at Duke, Harigae joined the Symetra Tour, where she won three tournaments in one season and topped the developmental tour’s money list, earning her LPGA card.
Her best season on the LPGA so far came in 2012, when she finished 44th on the money list. She has never posted an LPGA finish better than a share of fifth.
At the majors, Harigae tended to get away from what she does every other week of the year. This time she has stuck to her usual routine, and thanks to the help of psychologist Debra Graham, learned to compartmentalize. Her third-round 69 puts her in position to post her best finish in a major, perhaps even in her professional career.
“Golf makes sense to me now again,” she said.