“I’m like a whole new person.”
In nine previous appearances at the LPGA Classic Marathon, Mina Harigae has made the cut only three times, with her best result at Highland Meadows Golf Club a tie for ninth place in 2018. But after carding two straight bogey-free 66s (her career low in Toledo) Harigae has left her previous appearances firmly behind. She is -10 two strokes behind the Nasa Hataoka leadership and in the final grouping on Saturday for what she said is the first time she can remember on the LPGA tour.
“Historical [Highland Meadows] wasn’t that great for me, but this year I feel like it’s like a brand new golf course for me. I’m a much better golfer now than I was before, ”said Harigae. “It honestly feels like I’m a new person and I really like this golf course now. I have the feeling that it really suits my game. “
With six top 10 placements since August 2020, Harigae is slowly climbing up in the US Solheim Cup team standings and is currently in 15th place with 122 points. She said forming the team had been one of her biggest motivations this season as she continues to play comfortably on a court a little over seven miles from Solheim Cup hosts Inverness Club. Harigae took part in a team bonding experience last week at Reynolds Lake Oconee, the site of the second LPGA Drive On Championship last season, and last Monday in a training session in Inverness that only added more fuel to the fire to continue their hot series. As a Junior Solheim Cup participant in 2007, the chance to return to Toledo in September would mean the world for the 31-year-old.
“You know, after I went to Reynolds with the other girls and hung out with them on Monday, I really want, I mean, I really want to make the team,” Harigae said. “I think that’s kind of driving me this week. It’s like, well you know what I’m really ready to play. “