Earlier this month, Sarah Ingram was hovering simply off the aspect of the first tee field at Augusta National. Several younger ladies acknowledged her as they made their manner inside the ropes for the begin of the last spherical of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur – some with a fist bump, some with a giant smile.
Ingram is well-known to them as the U.S. Curtis Cup captain for this fall’s matches in Wales (postponed from June 2020). In all, six of the 12 ladies invited to a winter apply session for Curtis Cup hopefuls had a tee time at Augusta National that day.
A 3-time U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion herself, Ingram is one thing of an inspiration to the subsequent technology. But she’s impressed by them too, a lot in order that she resurrected her newbie profession.
Until final 12 months’s Tennessee Senior Women’s Amateur, Ingram hadn’t received a golf event since 1994, the 12 months of her final Women’s Mid-Amateur title.
On Wednesday, she wrapped up the inaugural Ladies National Golf Association Senior Championship. Ingram performed 54 holes at Anthem (Arizona) Golf Club in 10 over to complete six photographs forward of runner-up Shelly Haywood.
“Three years ago after the Golf Club of Tennessee hosted the U.S. Women’s Amateur in 2018, I was kind of inspired by the girls and felt like it was time for me to maybe get back to the game,” stated Ingram, who performs and practices out of the Golf Club of Tennessee. “I had missed some of my friends from golf and missed the competition and it’s been fun trying to build my game back up.”
One of the main revelations has been simply how laborious this sport is – simply how a lot time it takes to construct back.
Ingram has concentrated particularly on attempting to be affected person with herself, and that was certainly one of the main wins from the week in Arizona. Ingram led from the first spherical on.
“I tried to have the same mindset all week, just to be patient with myself, not get too worked up if I got multiple bogeys or a double bogey,” she stated. “It also helped today especially, I felt like I definitely didn’t – had a little more trouble, I’ve got to keep it together. If I can shoot around 75, 76, I’ll have a good chance of winning. I can’t worry about people doing better than that. Just tried to stay loose and calm and also be brave and not be scared.”
Since attending to know a few of the sport’s prime youthful amateurs – Ingram has now been by means of the Curtis Cup apply session drill twice, contemplating that she prepped for a 2020 match earlier than it was canceled – she has additionally benefited from watching their video games.
“I tried to use things that I watched this week just to be a little more fearless on the course and to not let bad shots or bad holes bother me,” she stated. “They’re all really good about that.”
Before Ingram ever received the title, texts had been coming in from her Curtis Cup hopefuls. They had a watch on what the captain was doing this week.
The LNGA occasion additionally embrace a mid-amateur division, and each 54-hole occasions had been in their inaugural 12 months. When the long-running women’s golf organization announced it was creating this event, Ingram – like lots of her friends – signed up instantly.
“It’s fun to have that competition, kind of keeps you wanting to get up in the morning and practice and play and get all the juices flowing,” she stated.
In the mid-amateur division, a former Curtis Cup participant captured the occasion by a five-stroke margin. Meghan Stasi, who performed for the victorious American squad in the 2008 matches at the Old Course at St. Andrews, was 6 over. Dawn Woodard, who Stasi will companion with in subsequent week’s U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball, and Amanda Jacobs had been runners-up at 11 over.
“This win is right up there with them all,” stated Stasi, who has received quite a few titles in Florida and Pennsylvania in addition to 4 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur titles. “A win any time is great now. There are just so many great players now.”