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Danielle Kang not shying away from anxiety on the course

Danielle Kang is aware of that uneasy feeling is finally going to come back throughout the course of a spherical, be it on Thursday or Sunday or, maybe, Wednesday, which is when this week’s Lotte Championship begins.

For a time, Kang needed to suppress that feeling. It’s one she will be able to’t absolutely relay verbally, however she’s conscious that many on this COVID-19 period have felt it. If worry is simply too sturdy a phrase, anxiety may be extra appropriately understandable.

Kang admitted, forward of this week’s occasion in Hawaii, that she’s been having these emotions on the course for fairly some time. Sometimes she handles it fairly effectively, different instances not so. “I’ve won a tournament feeling the way I felt and I’ve lost a tournament feeling the way I felt,” she mentioned Tuesday at Kapolei Golf Club.

I want to be able to be in control of how I feel. A lot of people can’t. They can’t control the way they think, the way they feel, but what I can do is work on it and practice how to accept that or deal with it better. That’s one of the things I want to figure out.

Full-field scores from the Lotte Championship

“Kia, I failed. I doubled the last hole knowing it was going to happen. It’s things like that. At ANA 18th I felt it, but knowing it’s going to happen I almost holed out. It’s sometimes hit or miss.”

Kang, 28, mentioned she’s been working with, amongst others, swing coach Butch Harmon on embracing the feeling and not hiding from it.

“I try and create situations to feel it on purpose, because if I do it a million times maybe a million and one will be easier,” Kang mentioned.

Trying to be even-keel is not the reply. That’s simply not Kang. She’s an emotional individual and participant, and as her profile has risen in the recreation as she mentioned, “everything is magnified.”

Kang received the first two occasions after the LPGA Tour’s return from the coronavirus hiatus final yr, changing into, for a time, the top-ranked American in the world. She’s since picked up three extra top-5 finishes, together with a pair of seconds, and has one end result exterior the high 13 this season.

Once No. 2 in the world, she’s presently fifth, solely behind Nelly Korda (fourth) amongst Americans in the Rolex Rankings.

This is the LPGA’s first occasion since the ANA Inspiration, the place Kang completed thirteenth. The tour was off final week and Kang arrived early to Hawaii, hanging out with buddies, having fun with “touristy stuff” and stress-free by the pool.

“It feels amazing. I really needed it. I think my girlfriends needed it as well,” she mentioned. “I think everyone needs each other and that’s what friends are for and families are for.”

Kang mentioned she additionally watched the Masters as her buddies made her flip on the TV. She advised them, “Hey, it’s a Friday. Relax. You got to wait until Sunday. Let’s just watch the highlights. They were like, ‘No we got to watch this.’”

It’s now time to go from spectator – and vacationer – to competitor, which is the position Kang most enjoys. She mentioned she needs to play as a lot as potential, to provide herself as many uncomfortable moments as potential, as a result of that one-millionth time is likely to be the nook’s flip.

The journey continues in Kapolei, Hawaii, the place the Lotte Championship will likely be contested Wednesday by way of Saturday (stay Golf Channel protection, each evening from 7-11 p.m. ET).

It’s place to start out a run that sees the tour go to Los Angeles, Singapore and Thailand in the subsequent month.

“I feel really calm,” Kang mentioned about competing in Hawaii, “and right where I need to be.”

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