“Let the Golf speak for itself. I like this quote. “
That’s the plan of 23-year-old Anita Uwadia, who is competing in the second week of the LPGA Q-Series and is fighting to become an LPGA Tour rookie next season. As a four-year-old player for the University of South Carolina Gamecocks, Uwadia started her first professional season in 2020 and achieved Symetra Tour status through Stage II of the LPGA qualifier in 2019.
“You know, being here and being able to do it is nice. When it comes to tournaments, of course you know getting your card and so on is a life changing experience, ”said Uwadia, who also made her LPGA Tour debut at the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational after doing the first with Shasta Averyhardt John Shippen had won the Invitational. “At the same time, you don’t want to overplay it and make it bigger than it actually is, because it’s just another tournament.”
She struggled in her rookie season on Symetra amid the COVID-19 pandemic and missed the cut in all three of her Tour appearances. But 2021 was a breath of fresh air. Uwadia made eight of twelve events over the weekend and achieved two top 15 results in her last five starts, finally ending the year 73 in the Race for the Card and moving straight into phase II. In a competition where only 47 of the 179 qualified qualified for the Q-Series, Uwadia said she had never looked at a scoreboard and, unlike in 2019, put herself under less pressure – but the nerves were still pervasive.
“This is one of the most difficult stages. To be lucky enough to be part of the 40 girls that made it, or 29 or whatever it was, that’s just awesome. They know you can play. It’s basically a confidence booster, but also a sigh of relief as you say. You can breathe now, ”said Uwadia. “I remember talking to my play partner and thinking, ‘I think my heart has popped out of my mouth a couple of times this round.’ We both just laughed about it, and then I had a friend who texted me: ‘Are you breathing yet?’ I think, ‘I think I’ve died a couple of times now, but yeah, I breathe.’ “
Uwadia had to go through another cut at Q-Series in Mobile, Ala. manage before moving to Dothan this week. By the end of day three, she was T46 after a 69 on Saturday, but it was all about getting par on her final hole, par-5, 18th on the Falls Course at Magnolia Grove. Uwadia now has 72 holes left to seal her fate for the 2022 season and is still thinking about last Sunday’s final putt.
“But I think the last week has been the funny thing about having a putt, I think it was like a 25 or 30 foot. I thought I have to make it to qualify. It just came up short. Just a few inches on the left side. I was kind of puzzled. I thought I missed because I thought, ‘Damn it, I just missed one shot,’ ”Uwadia said. “Then my mom, my caddy and my best friend basically said to me, ‘Oh yeah, you got it right on the number.’ I thought, ‘No way. I played my round over and over and looked at the scores. Are we sure we haven’t missed anything? ‘”
“I end up with the number. I should probably record it this week and not look at the leaderboard and just play golf. I should probably do that this week. “