Well, almost. During the final two rounds of the Wal-Mart LPGA event in Arkansas this year, my right jaw came out of joint and locked-up. I was forced to temporarily stop competing after that event because I could barely open my mouth and I was suffering from severe migraines and mild vertigo.** For the past 3 months I have been rehabilitating my jaw. After many doctor appointments, exercises, mouth appliances and cranial adjustments my right jaw joint is slowly healing.
I am now able to resume my normal practice schedule. Although I can’t say that I haven’t enjoyed being able to attend all of the Charger home games and do some paddle boarding, I’m really looking forward to competing again. I will be back out there at the start of next year’s season.
**Note: For anyone really interested, a dislocated jaw affects the trigeminal nerve which conveys information to important structures in the brain, including the nucleus solitarius, the locus coeruleus, the vagus nerve and the cerebral cortex. The trigeminal nerve also specifically sends signals to the anterior cingulate cortex, which is involved in mood, attention, equilibrium and decision-making.
It’s been a fun/productive/relaxing/exhausting off-season, that just flew by. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment — hanging out with friends and family, many walks at the beach, eating lots of Mexican food and going to a few Charger games. The past couple of months have been super productive for me, getting used to some new Bridgestone equipment, which is amazing by the way :), getting my swing more consistent and training with my TRX outside.
I am really looking forward to the new event next week in Ocala, FL.
What a start I have had. On Thursday, February 13, I received a “Professional Star of the Year” award from the San Diego Hall of Champions. The evening was amazing and it was very humbling to be honored along with so many incredible amateur and professional athletes. The 2014 Breitbard Hall of Fame Inductees included Damon Allen, Ricky Johnson, Chris Marlowe and Teri McKeever. Many thanks to the Hall of Champions for such a special evening. What an awe-inspiring way to start the 2014 season.
10. My new triple barrel curling iron (don’t know if I can get this through airport security).
9. My TRX – sounds like a dinosaur, but it’s such a good work-out.
8. Starbucks iced chai lattes, Trader Joe’s kettle corn and Wahoo’s cheese enchiladas.
7. Driving in my car listening to Taylor Swift.
6. The guy who invented ping pong.
5. The 8 other countries that I got to experience.
4. Living in Carlsbad.
3. Golf – I love what I do.
2. My sweet dog Abby.
1. Amazing support from my family and friends.
I have mixed emotions looking back on this past spring and summer. I’m getting to know the courses that we play and the travel seems easier. I played pretty well, but I know I can and will do much better. I shot a 63, the lowest round of my professional career, at the ShopRite Classic in NJ, which is now one of my favorite tournaments. Each tournament has a special attraction. Needless to say, the Evian Masters, in Evian, France was a highlight. I don’t know what I enjoyed more, the view of the lake from my hotel room or the pistachio gelato. This was my first visit to France and I can’t wait to go back as a tourist. Another favorite tournament for me was the Manulife Classic in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Beside the hospitality, I really love the Lululemon tournament gifts. Of course my sentimental favorite is the Navistar Classic in Alabama. I am proud to be sponsored by Navistar and of their support of the Wounded Warrior Project. And yes, the food at this tournament is some of the best. Again this year I am donating half of my winnings from this tournament to the Wounded Warrior Project.
I am still struggling to find a permanent caddy. Thank goodness for Jeff who has been caddying for me, filling in as needed, on my quest for the perfect caddy. Maybe Jeff has set the bar too high.
When I have a break in my schedule and I find myself anywhere near Pennsylvania, I spend my down-time at my grandparent’s house. I love seeing all my relatives, getting caught-up with the latest news, and my Nana’s blueberry pound cake. I look forward every year to going to play, practice and see my friends at the beautiful Lebanon Country Club. This past summer my Mom’s cousin invited me to play at the Waynesboro Country Club. Another special place. I just can’t express how much I appreciate the support from family and friends.
My next tournaments take me to Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan. This year I am heading to Asia with a lot less anxiety and a lot more food in my suitcase. Last year I didn’t know what to expect. This year I should be a lot more relaxed. Last year I spent an extra week, which was extra amazing, in Japan. This year I won’t have any extra time to spend in Japan, but I do have some great memories.
I’d love to hear from you!
Kraft Nabisco Championship – Rancho Mirage, CA
Our first major is now history. The week of the Kraft was filled with a lot of good golf and, of course, OREOS. I feel right at home at Rancho Mirage since I went to high school at nearby Desert Christian. I really enjoyed staying at Rancho Las Palmas, which is across the street from one of my favorite restaurants, Babes Bar-B-Que. May I recommend the skillet cornbread and pulled chicken sandwich. Oh yeah, the golf. It was exciting to be leading the tournament through my first eleven holes on the first day. Next year I plan to stay on top of the leaderboard. As usual, the wind was a factor and added some excitement to the tournament. It was a little crazy on Saturday during my back 9. On 18, I hit my 3 wood a whopping 180 yards. I was lucky enough to have my coach, Chris Walkey, and my trainer, Mike Butler in the gallery this week. Excited to be packing for Hawaii next week, Aloha!
Kia Classic – La Costa Resort & Spa
Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would be playing in an LPGA tournament in my own backyard, but that is exactly what I experienced last week. My week started with a photo shoot with Vessel Bags. If you haven’t noticed, I have a very cool golf bag that I designed myself. The Pro-Am on Wednesday with the La Costa members was a blast. I had a great first round “68” on Thursday to start the tournament. I definitely did not play as well as I would have liked to on the weekend, but I feel like my game is starting to all come together (and I am finally comfortable with my equipment changes). Thanks so much to all of my family and friends that came out and cheered me on during the Kia Classic. It really meant a lot to me.
Yesterday I found out that I am officially in the Honda LPGA Thailand! I am so excited!!
It is going to be great to start off the year with two tournaments in two amazing countries. My dad and I are going to be logging some hours on the plane. Frequent Flyer miles here we come!
What an amazing rookie year I’ve had!! Looking back I feel like I have grown so much as a golfer and a person. The highlight of my rookie year would definitely have to be my T8th finish at the Navistar Classic.
Going into the tournament I had pledged to donate half of my earnings to the Wounded Warrior Project. I was thrilled that I had my best finish that week!! My rookie year definitely wouldn’t have been such a success without all of the support from my family, friends, coaches, and sponsors.