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IJGT Alumni shine on PGA and LPGA Tour

It was a very strong week for IJGT Alumni on the major professional tours. The PGA Tour stop this week was at Sea Island Resort in Sea Island, Ga., for The RSM Classic. The top ten saw four IJGT Alumni finishers with the highest finishing in second place. Kevin Chappell finished in second place (-16), Jon Curran finished in fourth (-13), Scott Stallings finished T9 (-10), and Jamie Lovemark finished T9 (-10). For Kevin Chappell, this was his fourth event of the season and his first top 10 finish.

Kevin Chappell, PGA Tour

Kevin Chappell, PGA Tour

The LPGA Tour was in Naples, Fla., this past weekend for The CME Group Championship hosted at the Tiburon Golf Club. IJGT Alumni Sydnee Michaels finished T7 in the event. For Michaels this is her second top 20 finish in as many weeks. This was the final tournament for the LPGA Tour this calendar year. The ladies will return to action in 2016 at the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic.

Sydnee Michaels, LPGA Tour

Sydnee Michaels, LPGA Tour

IJGT Alum Shanshan Feng finishes 2nd at Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia

Former IJGT member and current LPGA player, Shanshan Feng, 24, grabbed another impressive tour finish at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia on Oct. 10-13, 2013 in Kuala Lumpur. Feng placed second with a 67-65-70-67–269, a final 15 strokes under par and just four strokes off champion, Lexi Thompson. This was the eighth top ten LPGA finish of the 2013 season for the young professional from Guangzhou, China, who most recently grabbed her first LPGA tour win at the Reignwood Classic at Pine Valley Golf Resort on Oct. 3-6, 2013.

Before turning pro in 2007, Feng was a seasoned IJGT veteran, playing on the tour and winning four events during the 2007-2008 season. That year, Feng qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open, and was named the Top Chinese Amateur by Golfweek in 2008She tied for ninth at that season’s LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament to earn tour exemption for the 2008 LPGA season and turned pro immediately after.

From her rookie season in 2008 until 2011, Feng finished in the top ten of 13 tournaments but was never able to break through for a victory. That all changed in 2012 when Feng won for the first time on the LPGA European Tour in March of that season, and followed that up with another win, this time on the LPGA Japanese Tour, in May. Feng’s landmark victory came less than a month later at the LPGA Championship at Locust Hill.

Since her LPGA Championship in 2012, Feng has been active on the LPGA circuit. She played in 19 events in 2012, and 17 thus far in the 2013 season. Over her career, Feng has racked up 10 professional wins: two on the LPGA Tour, five on the LPGA of Japan Tour, two Ladies European Tour wins, and one at the 2012 World Ladies Championship (a team event).

You can read more on Feng’s outstanding resume on LPGA.com.

 

Feature image courtesy of LPGA.com. Stats courtesy of LPGA.com and USGA.com.

 

Handling Adversity Like Lewis – Educational Blog

Handling Adversity Like Lewis

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C.– The road to a world No. 1 ranking is filled with twists and turns, as evident by LPGA player, Stacy Lewis.

This week at the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup, Lewis seized the Rolex No. 1 ranking, but not without a true test of her character and ability on the course. After the completion of her third round, Lewis was sitting pretty just two strokes behind leader, Ai Miyazato heading into the final round.

Then heartbreak struck.

9ca6291914ecead27cb2de266d7133f1Before signing her scorecard, Lewis was slammed with a two-stroke penalty throwing her four-shots back from Miyazato. Knowing this was her chance to capture a No. 1 ranking, Lewis had been dealt what should have been a momentum-killing setback.

Lewis received the two-stroke penalty as a result of a violation of Rule 13-4, which prohibits players from testing the condition of a hazard (bunker). Lewis’s caddie tested the surface of a fairway bunker on No. 16 with his right foot. Television viewers called in to LPGA officials regarding the violation, leading to a review of the video after the round, and ultimately the two-stroke penalty.

Suddenly, Lewis was four strokes back of the victory and the No. 1 ranking heading into the final round.

“We looked at the video, he walks into the bunker, he kind of pushes, he kind of bounces his knees a little bit, and his foot turns,” Lewis said. “That was kind of the big indicators, that his foot turned, and you could kind of hear the sand crunch a little bit. So that’s deemed to be testing the conditions.”

Lewis maintained a positive outlook on the situation at all times.

“More than anything I just feel bad for him because he feels awful,” Lewis said. “But he’s the best caddie out here, so we’ll be fine. We still have a chance to win tomorrow … In my mind I shot a bogey-free 66 today, and that’s what I’m going to take home tonight.”

Lewis turned her anguish into fuel for her final round and carded an 8-under-par 64 to rein victorious in Phoenix and become the second American female to take the Rolex No. 1 Ranking.

What can a junior golfer take from Lewis’s story?

In a round of golf there are millions of opportunities for disappointment. A single bad shot or penalty stroke can feel like the end of the world in the middle of a promising round. It is easy to let frustration build from a bad hole, or an unfortunate break. One bad hole is not the end of the world.

The importance of keeping a level head and realistic goals is evident in Lewis’s story. Lewis took her unfortunate situation and turned it on its head. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of her round, she took what could have been a tournament-ending blow and used it to propel herself to victory. During the final round on Sunday, Lewis birdied four of the final six holes to seal the win.

“It happens,” Lewis said. “People hit a wrong ball or ground their club in a hazard. Weird things happen when you play enough golf, and I told [my caddie] that over and over and over again. He would have felt horrible if we lost by two. That’s why I just put the dagger in and made some more putts coming in.”

Learning how to take a difficult situation and turn it into a positive is a skill that benefits golfers on and off the course, but is not easily mastered. Junior Sports Corporation Assistant Director of Mental Training, Scott Swainston is trained to help junior competitors learn to take situations like Lewis’ in stride.

Contact Swainston for a consultation or for more information on Mental Training. Be on the lookout for Swainston at the following International Junior Golf Tour (IJGT) Mental Training Tournament Series Events:

#RocktheSocks Open at Bulle Rock  – April 13-14 

The Chocolate Challenge at Hershey (Major) – May 11-12 

The Bridgestone Tournament of Champions – May 25-27