Stephanie Meadow returns to the site of one of her most remarkable finishes on a golf course embracing a new type of challenge at this week’s Volunteers of America Classic.
It all came down to the final putt on the final hole in the final tournament for Meadow last season as she birdied the 72nd obstacle at the VOA to retain her LPGA Tour card in Texas. In fact it was a birdie-birdie finish that the Jordanstown professional pulled out of the fire when she needed it most but far from playing for survival this time around, Meadow returns to the lone star state fresh off a podium result at the Pelican Women’s Championship with her goals revisited ahead of Thursday’s opening round.
“It’s a totally different type of pressure,” Meadow smiled from her lofty position of 35th on the Race to CME Globe.
“I feel like when you’re playing good, you’ve made some money, you’ve finished third last week, you want to finish well again but the pressure of not having your job next year is anxiety central! It’s a lot of stress whereas now I can see myself trying to finish top-25 on CME by the end of the year, that’s the goal we’ve now set – obviously that’s been readjusted since last week. It’s a totally different kind of pressure but obviously as a golfer you’re always striving for perfection and wanting to get better so it’s just natural [to feel something].”
As things stand, Meadow has this week in Texas to prepare for before joining the top-60 on the money-list in the Tour Championship in Florida starting on December 17th. However, tantalisingly resting in between both tournaments is the small matter of the US Women’s Open on Houston’s Champions Golf Course, and although Meadow remains on the reserve list, her position is improving with each and every day.
“Very keen [to play],” Meadow nodded to the virtually assembled media at Wednesday’s press conference. “It’s a massive purse, it’s a US Open. I was 32nd reserve a couple of weeks ago and now I’m all the way up to fifth. I’m sure I’ll get another update in the next few days with all the testing. I obviously would love to play in it, fingers crossed – I don’t want anybody to get sick or hurt – but it would be a great opportunity to play in it.”
Also in the field this week is Cavan’s Leona Maguire who finds herself just one place outside the all-important top-60 on the points table. Although still making cuts in recent weeks, Maguire has struggled to recapture her scoring prowess from September where she enjoyed a top-20 finish at the ANA Inspiration. She’ll be hoping to click for four rounds in Texas in order to book her spot in the Tour Championship in two weeks’ time.
Thursday’s tee-times (Irish time)
- 13.42 – Stephanie Meadow
- 18.37 – Leona Maguire
- Full scoring HERE
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