Amateur World Championships, wow…
I’ve attended pro worlds but this was the first worlds experience that I’ve been a part of. The whole week blows my mind. From the time I arrived in Madison, WI on Monday, through the last tournament day on Saturday, I managed to play over 200 holes of golf. That seems like a LOT, maybe too much even, but it wasn’t. I could have kept playing and playing and playing and I didn’t want my week in Madison to come to an end, ever.
My game last week was all over the place and I have plenty of speculation as to why but they will work themselves out. I played both strong and incredibly weak golf for my standards and I’m 100% okay with it. I placed 9th out of 40 women after sitting in 14th place the day before semi-finals. My proudest moment of the tournament was battling up to 12th to make semi-finals, allowing me to show my skills on one more 18 hole course.
Round by Round:
I started the tournament relatively strong. I didn’t feel like I was performing great, but I wasn’t making a ton of mistakes either and kept my head up and attitude solid, just consistent boring golf which tends to put up the best scores for me. I shot even my first round but had given away 2 strokes on the second to last hole. What happened? After discussing with my caddie (shout out to JAY RAY!) that I always miss straddle putts in a certain fashion, I stepped up to can a 10 foot normal par putt, and missed. I had just talked myself into missing the putt and didn’t take time to re-center and whiffed it, then I missed the next one low and carded a double bogey after having a fairly easy putt for 2… That’s where it all started.
I wish I could write here that I overcame those missed putts and kept my putting confidence for the rest of the tournament, but I cannot. I DID however keep my chin up, in high, happy spirits, no matter what and for that I am proud. But regardless, the next 3 rounds I played were extremely compromised. Next we had a round at one of the easiest courses that you could be putting for 2 on every hole, and I virtually WAS putting for 2 on every hole, but missed almost every one of them...my putting confidence was nowhere to be found, not once, not one putt felt like the Tina Stan super-aggressive putt that I know and love. But I finished the round, turning in an embarrassing score that shot me down to 9th place. The next day, I couldn’t get off the tee-pad, OR putt! My entire game was missing, and boy did I miss it. But again, (pats self on back) I kept my chin up and had a great time regardless. A little over halfway through the round, I carded a 6 because I missed low on an easy putt and that 6 lit a fire under my butt. I was mad. All of a sudden, I was pissed, but a really good giddy happy kind of pissed, you could say I was a little crazy, but I was done playing like I was. I wasn’t going to putt like I was scared anymore, and I didn’t. From that hole on, I putted aggressively and I still missed but dang it, I gave it a chance every time. One of my card-mates who has seen me putt even said “THERE SHE IS!” after throwing in a decent and intentional putt for the first time all round. I guess that was a turning point but it was a little too late for the round and I moved down to 13th.
The next day, more of the same crappy play but this time it was a bunch of silly mistakes, grip locks, disc choice, execution, putting, a little bit of everything. I was so removed from how I actually play, I just couldn’t perform like I know how. But guess what? Had a great time! That ended up being my 3rd round this tournament that was rated around 810...just a whole lot of crappy crappy crappy golf. Aaaannnnnnd down to 14th place.
I had one round left and the pressure was completely off. I was positive I was out of semi-finals by sitting in 14th (only 12 move on) so I just showed up to play that day. We played the course I was most worried about, and my sister came and watched and I got to play with all the same wonderful girls from the day before and I had already accepted that I was going to have all of Saturday to do whatever I wanted and watch the lead girls play, and just hang out since I wasn’t going to make the cut. I played my best round there. I shot one of the best scores of everyone, I made barely any mistakes, I missed only a few birdie putts and that’s about it. That round moved me right up to 12th place and boom, I made the semi-finals!
For that alone, I am thrilled. I am thankful that I got to play some more golf and had the opportunity to show some of the skills I had gotten back and what happened after, I wasn’t worried about. I couldn’t move DOWN so I played hard on Saturday. I putted well, I threw well and only made a few mistakes, carded one 5 on my last hole (because I decided to “take the fun route”) but otherwise mostly pars and birdies and ended -3, moving me up to 9th place where I finished Am Worlds, my last amateur tournament.
I guess that’s the “play by play” of this weekend, sorry it’s so lengthy but here’s the stuff that really matters:
I am happy.
I am unbelievably happy.
I was happy before I went to worlds, and even more so since I left.
Life has a funny way of throwing you around for awhile and toughening you up and teaching you gigantic lessons about attitude and focus and suffering and working hard for things that you care about. I am so thankful for the hard times I’ve been through because it makes these kinds of weeks mean so much more. I appreciate the struggle because it allowed me to play my worst golf with my biggest smile. I made great friends, I was inspired and I was inspiring, I learned and grew and I don’t think I’d have been nearly as positive about all of it if I didn’t have my low earlier this year.
I want to say I'm so proud of all the people that sacrificed to go to AM Worlds. It's not a cheap tournament and it was amazing to see everyone battling and playing as hard as they could. The women put up some impressive scores that is a really good representation of what us ladies can do! Shout out to Kristy for playing outstanding golf out there and leading the tournament the entire time. You're the winner in my book and I still get goosebumps thinking about the golf you played out there. Thank you for the inspiration. Specifically to the ladies that came, you are also all an inspiration to the women in this sport. Keep it up, we're growing this sport and we are going to make a difference!
I’m moving up to open now. It is official. I am playing the Minnesota Majestic in 2 weeks against the top pros and I expect to learn and observe and to place poorly and keep my smile strong regardless. Thank you everyone for your encouragement on my journey this year, I feel like it is just beginning and I can’t wait to start the next chapter.
Professional Disc Golfer,
WhalePants Mini Judge Fundraiser
^ Click Here to Subscribe!!!
Disc golf for life -