Casey Kennedy’s latest post in her Player Journal.

During the last two weeks I participated in the LPGA Monday Qualifier for Kingsmill and the US Women’s Open Qualifier in Bradenton, Florida.  What a roller coaster! I am tough on myself when it comes to my game and how I want to perform. It’s something I have been trying to work on but now, after Monday, I really have a better idea of how I need to continue my learning.

A part of the game that has been the most difficult for me to master is to get myself in the same mindset as I play away from tournament conditions. Since I am a person of modest beginnings, golf has not been an easy endeavor and I’ve had to depend on the generosity of my family, friends and supporters I’ve met along the way to continue chasing my dream.

In college, I got scholarships, but still paid my way to earn the degree. Knowing this, and knowing that sometimes I feel so much rides on a single tournament. I’ve let that get in my head, and I always felt that during my preparation and during tournaments my mindset would be on winning. I had developed this wrong mindset over so many years and now I’ve  realized that I need to make some changes.  During the US Women’s Open Qualifier I was using what I learned so far about the mental game but after my first round I realized that I was still putting too much pressure on myself.

After having a very difficult first round, it would have been very easy for me to give up. This time, I believed in myself and played the game because I loved it. I went back to the basics and remembered the real reason I go out there… because I love golf.  I ended up shooting 70 in the second round and holed out for an eagle on the 10th hole. At that point I realized, I need to focus on why I go out there, I love to compete and I love golf, and I am not doing it for the money.  Just as in Bob Rotella’s book “The 15th Club” the mental game is a huge part of the overall process. I believe in myself and I believe I can compete with the best, now I just have to focus on playing the game because I do love it, rather than just the money that comes with it. After the second round I realized that it’s just a game and I need to go out there and enjoy it, and not put so much pressure on myself to perform. I feel that was something that I needed to learn the hard way. I know I still have a lot more to learn but I am really excited to continue learning.

On a side note, congratulations to Regina Plasencia for winning one of the two US Open spots, we had a great time playing together.

Casey Kennedy’s other Player Journal posts