GOLF's Jessica Marksbury Plays the U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur

Sunday October 4th, 2015
Jessica Marksbury on the practice range prior to the start of the U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur.
Courtesy of Jessica Marksbury

Whew! What a day at Squire Creek. I knew it was going to be tough, but man. This course ate my lunch today. Consider me truly humbled!

It wasn’t pretty, but here are the raw facts of my first round: First nine (back nine): 50 (ugh), second nine (front nine): 44. I had a total of four pars, four three-putts, two triples and four doubles. (Wish that was my drink order instead of my round recap -- ouch!) So much for avoiding disaster! I’m currently 130th in a field of 132.  

So what went wrong?  

I realize no one really cares to hear about a round hole-by-hole (especially one as brutal as this one), so I’ll just summarize: yesterday’s bunker woes came back to haunt me, and I started playing a bit fearfully, trying to avoid them on every hole. It was a desperate play, and this layout doesn’t reward tentative shotmaking. I got in trouble on a few drives, hit a few hazards, and generally employed my C-game for the majority of the day.  

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Despite my lackluster play, there were a few bright spots. First and foremost, my playing partners Martha Leach and Patricia Cornett. In addition to outdriving me by at least 25 yards on every single hole, they were gracious and unflappable. It was a pleasure to watch two renowned and experienced players work their way around this golf course.  

Also, out of the darkness came a bit of light. A post-round range session with Paul revealed that a lot of my problems were stemming from the fact that my swing has gotten a little flat. A few wrist hinge drills later, and I was once again enjoying proper trajectory! Now I know why Tour players always hit balls after a round -- it’s a lot easier to “play happy” when you work out your swing issues before heading home.  

I’m excited for the 64 players in the field who will move on to the match play portion of the championship after tomorrow’s round. I have so much respect for the scores that were posted today. The women here are incredible players and I am so honored to be among them. While I wish my showing had been better, I’m looking forward to taking my new swing thought to the course and doing my best to finish strong. Here’s to trying to move up that leaderboard!

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