Stats fan Austin Ernst wants to defend in Arkansas | LPGA

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  Stats fan Austin Ernst wants to defend in Arkansas |  LPGA

For Austin Ernst, the 2020 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship was a memorable event and the beginning of a professional resurgence. When she went into the last lap with four strokes behind the Saturday leader Anna Nordqvist, Ernst knew that she had to “birdie” every hole in order to have a chance. And with a 63 final round, Ernst secured her second career win with two strokes ahead of Nordqvist, her first in 134 starts and since the Cambia Portland Classic 2014.

“I had a lot of self-confidence that came from that [2020] AIG Women’s Open, which finished fifth last year and then went straight to that tournament and won. Those [major championship] Weeks give you a lot of confidence that I can play and compete in different conditions, ”said Ernst, whose best result so far at the 2018 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship was runner-up. “The week I won I hit the ball great and did a ton of putts. You can’t shoot 20-under or do a lot of putts. This is the key to my game. When I putt well, I usually do my best. “

Much of this success can be attributed to their interest in analyzing personal statistics, a technique that was aided by the launch of KPMG Performance Insights earlier this year. The LPGA Tour started in June at the MEDIHEAL LPGA Championship with Advanced Tracking. Of the 145 players with at least 10 measured rounds in this range, Ernst is in third place in the strokes won (2.37) from the tee to the green and in second place in the strokes won (2.08).

While the stats drive seriousness to better understand their game and know where to work, the Rogers win changed the LSU alumna. She returns to the Pinnacle Country Club with a different mentality. Since winning in 2020, Ernst has only missed four cuts in 27 starts, put a third trophy on the mantelpiece at the LPGA Drive On Championship presented by Volvik in March and made her way to her second US Solheim Cup earlier this month. Team deserves.

“Winning creates trust. I think that gave me a lot of confidence and then of course I had my best year on tour [in 2020]”Said Ernst. “When I won wire to wire at Ocala earlier this year, I’ve now won in a lot of different ways and that just gives me a lot of confidence in my game. I have won many different golf courses under different conditions.

“When I look back on that first win in 2014, I fought a lot but didn’t win, so I think I can just get the job done. Then I won here, I chased and it was a little different on the golf course than when I won in 2014 and I knew I had become a better player. “

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