The highs and the lows

IT was a great start to my season in Ohio with a T11 and T9 finish to earn a spot in the British Open!

It was tough to find a flight that was decent in price with good connection to get over the pond, and thankfully the LPGA charter plane came to the rescue.

I hopped on the plane the Sunday night after finishing at Marathon Classic and landed in Edinburgh on the Monday.

During the practice round, the weather was perfect 20-25 Celsius, calm and sunny all day. Probably got to taste the best summer in Scotland!

When Thursday came the weather took a big turn for the worse and the wind was up with gusts of 60mph. Of course, the weather played a big part that week and it was ‘typical’ British Open weather, they say.

It was disappointing to miss the cut at the AIG Women’s Open at Royal Troon – by one shot. It was by far the toughest conditions I’ve witnessed. As we have to stay in the bubble with the LPGA family and are not allowed to leave the hotel to see or hang out with other players I had to sit in my hotel room all weekend and thought of how I could have easily saved that one shot. It was painful, but at the same time I learned a lot.

I finished playing the ANA Inspirational at Mission Hills Golf Club in Palm Springs, California last week and I’m sure a lot of you got to witness my good showing on the Thursday. It was so much fun playing with all the TV crews following around.

Kelly and Xiyu Lin of China walk down the third hole during the first round of the ANA Inspiration.

I played in the second last group on Saturday and it was a lot more tense than the first two days – just being able to experience that, I don’t think money can buy. I would like to put myself in that position more often, so that I can become familiar with it and feel more comfortable.

I’m sure most of you would like to know what it’s like in a day on the LPGA Tour.

Well I’ve just witnessed something that’s not quite normal this week in Portland, Oregon, where the wildfires are burning out of control and the air quality index being the worst in the world.

I was flying from Palm Springs to Portland (for the Cambia Portland Classic) with a stop in Seattle, and when we were descending I could smell the smoke in the airplane and looking out through the window it was pretty sad to see the city in such a devastated state.

Sure enough, my flight from Seattle (to Portland) was canceled and I could only rebook for Wednesday morning with another bad connecting (flight). I got on my phone and started looking at other options. In the end, I rented a car from Seattle and drove to Portland – got in late, but managed to go get my Covid test before settling in.

So that right there was an unusual day, an unusual experience.

I was asked how often do I have to make a decision like that on the road, and I replied quickly “once or twice a year”.

I was just lucky in that it was even drivable and I didn’t get stuck somewhere trying to get out.

The tournament has now been reduced to a 54-hole championship, scheduled to start on Friday. And with the unpredictable weather and wildfires, there well might be a Monday finish – who knows?

As players, we are grateful that Cambia Healthis are fully committed to giving us this competitive opportunity.

We hope that the frontliners will get the wildfires under control, some rain might help, and we can get this championship done with, in a healthy and safe environment.

Keep joining me on my journey on the LPGA. I also hope all my fellow Malaysians enjoyed Malaysia Day and I wish you all good health and great prosperity.