Breaking America with Rachel Connor - Mission accomplished
11 Nov 2009 - 11:09:17
Golf.co.uk's rising star Rachel Connor reports from the US, with the fantastic news she has qualified for the Duramed Futures Tour in 2010!
November 6th 2009
Hello to everyone back in the UK!
This past week I have had more than my share of the ups and downs in tournament golf. My week began well at Huntington Hills Golf Club where I played some steady golf and posted one over par 73.
Then I headed to the Lakeland area of Florida for my first attempt at securing my card on the Duramed Futures Tour. Here's how it unfolded...
Day 1: I had an early start, so I got an alarm call at 5.30am, breakfast at 6.15, a 40 minute drive to the golf club, warm up and stretches and prep for the next hour and on the tee at 8.00am, just as the Florida sun was rising! On completion of my round I met a lady from Bolton who lives at Huntington Hills - she was very kind and offered me 'soup and a shower' but I decided to head off back to my hotel to get ready for a players meeting that evening.
Day 2: I had another early start 8.10 start today but this time at Lake Region. I was pleased with my game today - all of the girls that I played with were in their final year at College and they all have really solid games. The standard at Tour School is amazing - all of these girls can play golf. I posted another steady score at level par on the tricky and windy Lake Region so at the close of play I felt that this was a job well done.
Day 3: Yet another early start today at Ridgewood Golf Club 8.20am. This course was playing so today, with temperatures in the mid eighties I have to tell you that I was starting to feel the heat. My round started miserably and by the time I came off the 7th green I was two over par. However, I made birdies at holes eight and nine to get back to level. Whilst I was out on the course we were looking for a ball when I recognised a familiar accent. "Are you Rachel the english girl?" a lady asked. It turned out that she was from Stockport which is near my home town of Manchester. This lady and her husband watched me play the final few holes and I have to say that they were my lucky mascots as I played the next few holes to level par and then completed my last few holes birdie, birdie, birdie for a final total that day of 3 under. Following the round I was interviewed by the Duramed Futures Tour for their Blog on You Tube. Here it is:
Day 4: I always knew that the marathon five rounds wasn't going to be easy but day four was a shocker! I was pleased to be starting the day a little later at 9.20am but when I got out on the golf course I started to realise that the early times were much, much better! During Tour Qualifier it was compulsory for players to ride on buggies - largely to help keep up the pace of play on the course. However, this didn't quite go to plan Round 4 took our group six hours to play the round - hard enough when you are walking the course but on a buggy it seemed like an eternity and I have to say that this really affected my rhythm and I posted a very disappointing eight over par and I left the course absoultely exhausted. Nevertheless, I was absolutely delighted to find that I had easily made the cut for the top 90 players and that in 2010 I would be playing on the Duramed Futures Tour. Yippee!
Day 5: I had another early start and completed my round in just over 4 hours. To be honest, I was relieved to see the back of the final round when I posted a poor nine over par. I was exhausted. What have I learned from Tour School. It's tough - very tough, watching player's dreams being built and shattered over a five day period wasn't easy but this is the School that I want to be in. It isn't called 'The Road to the LPGA' for nothing! I was one of the youngest competitors in the field and at times I showed my inexperience but I was buoyed by the standard of golf that I played. I know that I can compete out here and now I have four months to complete my preparation at the David Leadbetter IMG Academy in Bradenton.
YOU CAN FOLLOW RACHEL'S PROGRESS EVERY WEEK AT GOLF.CO.UK!