The LPGA Qualifying School is the one tournament every aspiring professional golfer looks forward to the most. It is our chance to make it to the next level. When I didn't advance to Stage II, I thought my season was essentially over. Boy, was I wrong!
Many of my fellow Stage I-ers returned home and decided to compete in nearby mini tour events. When I saw I had a chance to get into the Sioux Falls GreatLIFE Challenge with the Symetra Tour, I booked a flight to South Dakota. I had many people asking me, "Why? What's the point?"
I love golf, and I will gratefully take any opportunity I can to compete on a larger scale. Playing in my first Symetra Tour event in Sioux Falls this summer was an amazing feeling I won't forget anytime soon. There were banners with pictures of legends graduating from the Symetra to the LPGA Tour. There were several volunteers and fans; I even gave my first autographs to two adorable sisters who also love the game! Best of all, there were golfers from whom I could learn.
One of my friends on tour shared a valuable piece of information with me: even though Qschool was over, competing in Symetra events can still affect my status for the next season. If that's not another good reason to travel around the country playing, I don't know what is! While I was happy with my long game in California this year, my short game left me a bit short of Stage II. Playing in these tournaments improved my chances of playing in more Symetra events next year, and I didn't want to miss out on that opportunity.
Lastly, the exposure of playing on such a prestigious tour is unparalleled. After just one Symetra event, I noticed that my website saw a couple thousand new visitors and I had more opportunities offered through my LinkedIn page. While we golfers are certainly out there practicing and playing on our own, we know golf is truly a team sport - we couldn't do what we love without all of your support.
I had a taste of my dream, and now I'm even more hooked. I was ecstatic to get into not just one Symetra event, but three, and now I am hungry for more. I am dedicating my year to short game work and can't wait to get out there and get started. Symetra Tour, I'm coming for ya!