I don't remember watching much golf growing up, but I do remember watching Greg Norman lose the Masters twice in seemingly impossible circumstances.
This past week Adam Scott became the first Aussie to put on the Green Jacket. I was watching with 90% of the LPGA at the bar in the club house in Hawaii.
A really impressive win, and by all reports an impressive guy. The five Aussies on the LPGA were all present and we really enjoyed the moment.
Scott's win made me proud to be Aussie, and motivates me to keep on improving.
As you can imagine with this start to the week I was excited to be paired with fellow Australia Katherine Hull-Kirk and Symetra Tour grad Nicole Jeray for the first two rounds. I felt quietly confident stepping up for to the tee. I have worked hard during my off weeks, and having weakened my left hand grip I was starting to feel comfortable out on the course. GO TIME.
It was a week of firsts for me at the LPGA Lotte Championship in Honolulu:
First time to Hawaii: beautiful! I visited Pearly Harbor on Tuesday afternoon. Not too many places can leave me silent, but my breath was taken away. Since moving to the USA I have often seen bumper stickers that say "freedom is not free". We are very blessed to be living in this beautiful country, and I am overwhelmed to be here pursuing my dream. (As I write this idealism it's ANZAC DAY back home- a day that reminds me of my Papa, and countless others who have fought/fighting for freedom- thank you!)
First time on Golf Channel: I started strongly on the first nine and turned at -3. I added a few pars before making, birdie, birdie on 14, 15. I was talking to my caddy about the length we had in on 15 when I realised that Golf Channel had a microphone between us. Honestly it was weird, and my addition skills quickly diminished. I had to rely on my caddy to give me the number, but I hit a great shot and holed the putt. My first challenge was overcome.
First time on the leader board: walking up the 15th I looked past my caddy and saw the leader board, J. BOLAND T2. People say that you shouldn't look at the leader board, but it's hard to miss, plus seeing my name on it was just about the coolest feeling ever. I want to look over and see my name there more often.
First LPGA cut: following the end of the first day play I didn't look at live scoring. I never have looked up scores, I figure there are so many more holes to play and it bears little resemblance to the final day. Hence I didn't know what the predicted cut line would be.
It's probably a good thing, because Day 2 was really windy and we had some rain so the conditions weren't easy. On 17 I saw the leader board say cut predicted cut was +2. I was -1 at the time, and promptly finished birdie, bogey. Presumably I will get more and more comfortable on the Tour, but I hope I never forget to be grateful to be playing the weekend.
My proudest moment of the week was on the third day.
Old habits were creeping back into my game and I was struggling to find the planet off the tee, and I didn't have many looks at birdie.
I was playing with Karrie Webb (another Aussie pairing) and she was playing pretty well at the turn. After starting the day square she probably turned 6 better than me. I wasn't mad, but I was pretty determined to at least pick some strokes back up on the field to give myself a good chance of a solid practice in the afternoon and a good final day.
I birdied 10, and then parred home. I holed a LOT of 5-7 footers to save par. They get very tiresome after a while, but I felt like I gave myself a chance to go low on the final day and turned a 80 into a 75.
A big shout out to Karrie who has organised to play her practice rounds with me #halloffamer
As it worked out I did hit the ball better in the final round. I holed a pitch on my second hole for eagle, and birdied soon after to get to -3. I didn't seal the deal though, and just too many putt slid past the hole. One of those days where I feel like I played well, and it wasn't reflected on the leader board.
I am grateful though for improved ball striking and I will take the confidence into Dallas.
Thanks for your continued support.
Julia Boland ( @juliabolandgolf ) is a former National Squad member and current member of Golf Australia's Rookie Professional Program. She is playing on the LPGA Tour and is based in the United States