Always up. That would be my mantra for the week. It was a promise I’d made and a promise I’d keep. 

On Thursday night I laid in bed staring at the ceiling fan anticipating my first round as a professional in the ShopRite LPGA Classic. 

I knew when I teed the ball up on Friday afternoon I’d feel nerves in my veins and a fired up excitement beating out of my chest. Having been in that spot three times before, I knew what the start would feel like. 

However, what I didn’t know was how I would feel at the end? When the final putt dropped, would I be happy or sad? Would my score be good or bad? It’s the uncertainty of that question that made me anxious and caused me to toss and turn in bed. I laid there just wishing I could shake a magic eight ball and it would tell me how the rounds would go. Then I could rest my head and sleep easy as the first round approached. 

Somewhere between the spinning ceiling fan and restless sheets, I realized that the magic eight ball wouldn’t provide anything for me that I didn’t already have within myself. No, I can’t predict what my score will be, but I can decide the mindset I’ll carry and how I will feel walking off the eighteenth green. Regardless of outcome or circumstances, I decided I’ll always be up.

I had my boyfriend,Trevor, caddying for the event and on Friday morning we rehearsed our three goals for the week. First on the list…. We will always be up and we will never get down. 

The first tee came and I felt the nerves and excitement I had anticipated. I channeled it into a striped three wood down the first fairway and we were off! Things were going pretty smoothly. We reached the third tee, a reachable par five and one of my favorite holes on the Seaview Bay Course. I hit a good drive down the middle of the fairway. Followed it up with a perfect seven wood that rolled right by the hole and I walked up to the green with my putter in hand and a reasonable eagle putt. The eagle putt would skirt by the right side of the cup and leave me with a 18 inch birdie putt. I heard a fan behind me say, “still a good birdie”. Basically played the hole as planned… or so I thought. I went in to tap in the birdie putt and well then it didn’t go in. So many good shots and a three putt par. That’ll sting. 

So many words I wanted to say to Trevor, but with my stubbornness I knew I had to keep that promise. Besides a 60 foot drained birdie putt, I battle a cold putter for the rest of the day. A three putt on the 16th hole tested my patience. I walked off the green and started rambling off to Trevor that this is starting to get frustrating and I’ve got to make putts. He then looked at me and said, “you’re not getting down on me are you? That’s not allowed.” A quick reminder of “always up” was much needed. 

I’d miss a birdie putt on 17 and cap the round off with a three putt on eighteen. After the first round I’d find myself seven over. I walked off the green, to my family and friends and through a few hugs and words of encouragement I got the notion that they were expecting me to be very down. To their surprise, I wasn’t. While I was disappointed, I wasn’t down. There were good things I could build on and create a better tomorrow. Always up

Sure enough the next day was better. I hit the ball more solid and stroked the putter with more ease. While I would have liked more birdie putts to go in, I was still proud of the improvement from the day prior. As I tapped a par putt in to finish round two with an even par 71, the words “always up” played in the back of my mind. I thought back to myself laying in bed Thursday night and while this isn’t the outcome I wanted, I finished the way I planned… always up.

Looking back at the week there was far too much good to get down. Monday and Tuesday were filled with great practice rounds with good friends.

Fun practice round.

I was lucky to be paired with two awesome pro-am groups Wednesday and Thursday.

Great pro-am group.

On Friday and Saturday, I played in my favorite event as a professional with the best teammate walking by my side. Beyond that, I could look out to a crowd of the most supportive people in my life.

Crowd of great supportive fans.

Lastly, to finish off the week with a junior clinic and see the joy of sports through the eyes of little ones. With all of those blessings, it’s easy to be up when things may go wrong. 

Great junior clinic.

Last week taught me a valuable lesson on and off the course. We can let the outcome or our circumstances dictate how we feel or we can choose how we will react regardless of the success or obstacles that come our way. I’ll choose the latter. Here’s to always being up and another great week at the ShopRite LPGA Classic. Thank you Outlyr for this opportunity, Seaview Golf Resort for providing a great venue and all of the volunteers for their support!

A week of family<3