Not every daughter wants to take a 10-hour drive with her father. If it had been up to Rachel Heck, she would have flown to Toledo from her home in Memphis, Tennessee.
“I was not so happy that we drove,” she said with a laugh on Tuesday. “But my dad said we had too many bad experiences losing clubs and he didn’t want to do that at an LPGA event this time, so we packed the car and drove.”
Fortunately, father and daughter survived the hike and are still talking to each other. Heck received a special exception for the field this week after winning the singles title at the NCAA National Championship for the Stanford Cardinal in May. She is still in summer school, a big economic task is due on Thursday. But it was all golf today when she first saw Highland Meadows play with her NCAA colleague Emma Talley and Talley’s college teammate Stephanie Meadow. And she liked it.
“It’s a nice course. It has to be one of my favorites. It’s so beautiful, ”said Heck, who marveled at the small gas station pumps from Marathon that serve as tee markers. “I’m also overwhelmed by how great the people are here. They are so welcoming, just some of the cutest, most welcome people I have ever felt at a tournament. I have a feeling this will be one of my favorite stops on the LPGA. “
Before her sophomore year at Stanford, this is Heck’s third appearance on the LPGA tour of the summer. She shared 35th place at the US Women’s Open in June and missed the cut the following week at the LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship. Heck reveled in the changes to interact with idols like Michelle Wie West and Lydia Ko and worry about life on the tour. She has also learned so much about her game and how to improve as she looks forward to a possible future as a professional golfer.
“One of the big things I’ve learned at LPGA events is to just be super patient. I got off to a bad start at the US Open and thought to myself, oh, I’ll just miss the cut, whatever, no big deal. Then I had a good number of holes and I’ll be right back in, ”she said. “You think 36 holes, that’s not much time for anything to happen, but just be patient. I never know what can happen. “