Carolinas Golf Magazine

Winter 2018

golf, CGA, carolinas, junior, equipment, sport, PGA, LPGA, association, magazine

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Tell me about the gift from DJ. My first real set of golf clubs actually came from Dustin Johnson. I was playing in a hole-in-one contest and they asked me in an interview what I would want if I got a million dollars. I said I would ask my dad to buy me new golf clubs. My coach went and told Dustin that and he, being the nice guy that he is, asked TaylorMade to make me a custom set of clubs. I actually got to open them on Christmas day. At what point did you realize you wanted to be a professional? The first golfer I ever met was Natalie Gul- bis. I was watching her and she came out- side the ropes and started talking and walking with me. As soon as she left, I told my dad, "I want to be just like her. I want to play golf." What was it like playing in the U.S. Open as an amateur? Playing in the U.S. Open is a dream come true. That's something I've been looking for- ward to for a really long time. Not only get- ting to play, but to make the cut and just know that my game was good enough to play against the best players in the world. It was honestly one of the greatest experi- ences in my life. Were you Intimidated? The first tee, the first day was a little bit intimidating, but once you get out there it's just golf. Once you realize it's just golf and golf doesn't change no matter where you are, it's more relaxing. What has it meant to you to represent the U.S. in the Curtis and Palmer Cups? It was even better than I thought it would be. I know everytime you hear someone talk about a team event, they say, "Oh, it's so great," but it really is. You make some of the best friends and some of the greatest memories. Anytime you get to wear the red, white and blue is pretty special. What was the big takeaway from the U.S. Women's Amateurs? I have two records in USGA match play. Just both losing records. That's okay. What- ever it takes to get in the history books, I guess [laughs]. Both experiences were great learning opportunities. Just to make it that far in that strong of a competition is hard in itself. So, I was really proud of the way I played, especially it being my last U.S. Am. What it's like having your dad (Charles) on the bag? It's great, because he knows how to calm me down. Sometimes I get a little anxious or excited but he really knows how to playthe role he needs to be. Will he caddy for you in the pros? Funny story: he caddied for me in my first U.S. Open. We got out to the first tee and he was more nervous than I was. I thought, "this is not good." He was so nervous I had to start walking off yardages. On one hole, we were 30 yards in front of the 100 yard marker and he said, "Okay, we have 130" and I was like, "No, we subtract thirty yards." But it was fun, we had a great time. Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? Hopefully being successful on the LPGA. I don't know what that looks like, but hope- fully having won at least one or more LPGA events. Obviously, I want to win as much as I can and winning a major would be special. My main goal is to go out there and put in as much work as I can and see where that takes me. I have never been one to get upset if I miss a goal. I know ulti- mately God has a plan and I just go with the flow. So whatever happens, I'm okay with. Are you ready to leave behind amateur golf? I definitely am. Going pro is something I've looked forward to for a long time now. So, after playing the U.S. Open and making the cut is when I really started to get antsy. I was like, "Okay, I want to go play, I want to try this out for real."It will definitely be hard leaving it behind, because I've had so many great memories. It's just been such a fun journey up till now, but I'm definitely ready. ■ W I N T E R 2 0 1 8 | | 25 "Obviously, I want to win as much as I can and winning a major would be special. My main goal is to go out there and put in as much work as I can and see where that takes me." JACKSO USGA

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