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ladygolfer

Date: 20/12/2003

Article:
This year I have experienced so many new and wonderful things so I have decided the best way to share my experiences with you is by compiling my list of awards for 2003. When you mention that you are a golf professional most people think about the glamour of travelling the world, playing in hot climates and generally having an easy life, if you would have travelled with me this year you would know that that is just a myth. Aeroplanes, hire cars, hotels, restaurants and golf courses are what we see week in week out as we travel from one destination to another. Living out of a suitcase isnt all its cracked up to be, however I do have some favourites from my travels.

My favourite restaurant of the year was The Salmon house, Vancouver. Over looking the bay in Vancouver, we enjoyed fresh fish, a good bottle of wine and it was made even more enjoyable because my parents were able to be there.

My favourite hotel. Most of the hotels we stay in are chains such as the Doubletree or the Holiday Inn, which are all very similar, however I did have one night of luxury at the Marriott Inn & Suites at Newark airport.

My favourite Airline is United Airlines. I have done most of my travelling this year with them and they have looked after me very well. Their premium economy is 5 inches more than standard and has been a godsend on trans Atlantic flights.

My favourite tournament was the first event of the year, the ALPG Players Championship at Horizons golf resort, Australia. Everything about the tournament was fantastic, great golf course, great field, great result!

My favourite Golf course was Kingsmill, Virginia. A beautiful, testing golf course that was an absolute pleasure to play.

My favourite playing partner of the year was Lori Kane from Canada. We played together in Portland, Oregon at the end of the year, she made me feel very comfortable and we had an enjoyable day.

My worst moment from 2003 was being stranded in the blackout in Toledo, Ohio in August. On my own and after a lonely day and night without power I sat 8 hours on a packed coach to escape the blackout and eventually flew home out of Chicago.

My most nervous moment was in the British Open at Lytham St. Annes in August. First tee on Saturday morning. I had made the cut for the first time and being fairly local lots of people had come over to support me. I have never seen as many people around a green, it took my caddy and I a few minutes to find the flag!

My best shot under pressure was my approach shot on the eighteenth hole at Lytham St Annes in the British Open. Sunday afternoon, huge crowds and two packed stands around the green. A great 6 iron to 8 feet and a very large roar from the crowd.

My best putt under pressure. The truth is I have many memorable putts that stand out, all different but all under some sort of pressure, whether they were for a fighting par or to make the cut, Im proud of every one.

My most treasured moment has to be holing a putt for birdie on the last hole at the British Open. Sunday afternoon after hitting it to 8 feet and having the crowd clap you onto the green, it was lovely to hole the putt and enjoy the reception from the stands, which included many of my family and friends.

The highlight of 2003 was leading the ALPG Players Championship until the eighteenth hole and eventually finishing in 3rd place. I played the final round with Laura Davies and Tamara Hyett who both birdied the final hole to go on to a playoff. Playing with Laura for the first time, leading the tournament and experiencing my first ovation on the eighteenth green were amazing!


Despite the ups and downs of 2003 I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute and more importantly have learnt a great deal. It has also been a good year for womens golf, the superb golf played in the Solheim Cup and Annikas positive appearance in the PGA event at Colonial has kept womens golf in the front of peoples minds.
Lets hope 2004 will be another great year for Womens golf. I am looking forward to a full year in Europe and wish you all a very merry Christmas.



ladygolfer

Date: 25/11/2003

Article:
LPGA Tour School is probably the tensest atmosphere I have ever played under. You have to try and make sure you dont get sucked into the panic that surrounds the practice ground and the putting areas. Everyone wants to hit endless balls and putt and putt and putt, which results in a very busy putting green! You can guarantee that at least one girl can be found in tears on the range on a daily basis and many more over the final days! Most of the girls there are American, which means it is this week or another year on the futures tour for them. Fortunately, European girls like me and other foreigners can go home and play on their own national professional tours until they fancy their chances again on the lucrative LPGA.

By now you probably know that my attempt at tour school was not good enough! Unfortunately I played better than the previous year but I just couldnt buy a putt! What a great game this is sometimes!!! The grass around and on the greens at LPGA International is Bermuda and looking back with hindsight I probably should have gone out a few days earlier and given myself some more time to get comfortable on them. Cest la vie! I am obviously disappointed to have lost my card on the LPGA for this year however looking back it was a thrill to get through last year and I have learnt a lot in 2003. Although it was a struggle at times only making 7 cuts out of 17 tournaments I have learnt a lot about the standard you have to be to compete with the best in the World and I have already started on improving myself so that when I get out there next time I will be able to compete.

Although it was hectic and seemed a little crazy at times I am now very thankful that I managed to fly back for seven tournaments in Europe and thus keep my card for 2004 finishing in 55th place. I have only played one full year on the European Tour, my rookie year 2002, so I am really looking forward to getting stuck in and seeing how high up the order of merit I can finish. I am also fortunate that now I am in Europe I will be able to see my coach, Mark Pinkett (Leeds Golf Center), more often and secure the swing changes and progress we made in 2003.

I think one of the best memories from playing on the LPGA in 2003 was playing at the Corning Classic while Annika Sorenstam was playing in the Mens tournament at Colonial. The atmosphere at the tournament was fantastic with big screens everywhere supporting the Colonial coverage of Annikas rounds. Everyone was buzzing with excitement and anticipation of how our best LPGA player could fair against the men on the PGA Tour. And didnt she do well! I feel very privileged to have played on the same tour as Annika this year, especially after the news that she will at some point retire from the game to start a family and pursue other interests. I have seen her hit ball after ball long and straight down the practice ground and we all know she can putt but I think it is her mind that is driven like nobody else. What a player. Her dedication to the game and determination led the European team to Victory at the Solheim Cup earlier this year and not so long ago she was inducted into the LPGA Hall of Fame. Still, she remains a lovely person, which I admire even more, she always smiles when she walks by and seems to have endless patience with the chaos that surrounds her wherever she goes. She is definitely one of the best Women Golfers Ever and has propelled the game in a way that leaves her fellow professionals in awe!


ladygolfer

Date: 25/09/2003

Article:
No doubt on reflection of the Solheim Cup it has been a great boost for Ladies European Golf. Hopefully the Ladies European Tour and each individual player, will be able to thrive on the positive energy that came from the Solheim.

As a player it was very encouraging to see Elizabeth Esterl, and Ana Belen Sanshez rise to the occasion. I have known Elizabeth for some 12 years playing against her throughout Europe as an amateur and it is great to see what can be achieved with hard work and dedication! I am sure it has inspired a few European Tour players to make the solheim cup team after seeing Elizabeth and Anas success. I myself would love to have the opportunity to play in the Solheim Cup especially after witnessing the 2003 Solheim. I have made it top of my list of goals as I cant imagine a better feeling than being part of a winning Solheim Cup Team.

First though on my list of goals is the 2004 LPGA Qualifying school in Daytona, Florida. I have a week at home to prepare for it and then its off to America again for what hopefully will be my final transatlantic flight of the year. My rookie year on the LPGA has been an amazing experience and I feel I have learnt a great deal in a short amount of time. I have given it 110 percent every week and I can hardly believe it is the middle of October already. Time flies when your having fun!

Although it is not a life that suits everybody as my early roommate from France, Marine Monnet, found out. Unfortunately she decided she didnt like the transatlantic flights and the hectic schedule and vowed never to return to the states after abruptly going home in May. I on the other hand are at the total opposite end of the scale. I have loved every second of everything about the tour and even find it hard to stop myself smiling when I am thinking, talking or writing about my experiences this year. Hopefully with the experience I have gained this year, competing and learning from the best in the World, I will be able to secure a card for the 2004 season.

I have obviously had to think about the possibility of not getting my card for the 2004 season on the LPGA. As disappointed as I would be I am thinking more long term than just one or two years on the LPGA, therefore it would make me even more determined to get back out there and it would give me an opportunity to work towards winning a tournament in Europe and going after them very precious Solheim Cup points. As Elizabeth Esterl has shown this year, she has chosen not to attend the LPGA Qualifying school and wants to concentrate on winning more tournaments in Europe. She has definitely shown that you dont necessarily have to play on the LPGA in America to compete with the best.


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