LPGA-Part 2

April 18, 2011

Once I started taking lessons from DeDe, I had a real direction in my game. I was happy on and off of the golf course. I moved to Arizona full-time in 1992 and was married in November of 1993. Life was good. There were good and bad times on the course. But for the most part I was happy and making a nice living. I got myself into contention several times each year. I was able to travel to places I’d only dreamt about and really enjoyed seeing new cultures in far away lands. I worked hard on my game. My main goal was to never have the regret that I hadn’t put in the effort.

Tragedy struck and my teacher DeDe Owens died suddenly of a heart attack in May of 1999. Ironically, this was my best year financially ever on tour. I am convinced I had an angel sitting on my shoulders throughout that year. I made 24/28 cuts, had 6 top ten finishes and finished 2nd 3 times including a playoff loss to Annika Sorenstam where I played 21 holes, had 21 pars and was beaten on the 3rd hole extra hole.

I never played as well for some reason after 1999. I still had some success here and there but it was fewer and farther in between. I had a new teacher named Gale Peterson who was great but somehow I just never played as well. I was way too tough on myself and just didn’t have the deep-down belief in myself that you need to be the best. The tour was changing as well. Technology had made hitting the ball a long way more and more important and I was always a shorter hitter. So I struggled on some courses and got away from doing what I did best which was to just get the ball in the hole no matter what! I was working just as hard but not getting results so mid-way through the 2006 season, I started to think about retirement. Looking back, maybe I should have retired then and gone out with some better memories. But I wanted to give it one last shot. I worked really hard mentally and physically before the 2007 season, but it was not meant to be and I had my worse year ever. I retired in the Fall of that year.

I am proud of my career on the LPGA and am still proud to be an LPGA member. I had a pretty amazing 19 year run. I have regrets, but for a girl from Baltimore I didn’t do too bad! I met my husband. I made over 3 million in career earnings. I met a ton of friends, made more memories and had more opportunities than you can imagine. All of this because I was able to hit a little white ball into a hole. Pretty freakin’ cool!

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