Which is exactly what Kylie Pratt has been doing for the last three weeks. She blistered the course back home in Queensland, Australia, in February at the ANZ Australian Ladies Masters, tying Sorenstam for the days low round and finishing tied for third in the Ladies European Tour tournament. She beat compatriot LPGA stars Karrie Webb and Rachel Teske. And she learned a few things about her game.
I learned that I could shoot a 65 on Sunday, said Pratt, a third-year Futures Tour member.
But Pratt also expanded her season scoring scope in todays first round of the $75,000 Isleta Casino & Resort Futures Gold Classic. She fired a 5 under opening round of 67 to take the tournament lead at Isleta Eagle Golf Course. And it came after launching her Futures Tour season with missed 36-hole cuts in her last two events.
I knew this round was coming and it will go a long way in taking my confidence to the next level, said Pratt, who carded seven birdies and two bogeys for her round. Its about time.
Pratt has been mystified about her scoring this season. She arrived in Wichita two weeks ago and missed the cut with rounds of 82-73. Last week in El Paso, she missed again with rounds of 80-79. It made that sizzling 65 feel like a different season.
I felt like I was striking the ball really well for two weeks, but the difference today was I had a real good feel for the greens, said Pratt, who used 28 putts to navigate her way around the par-72, 6,621-yard course.
Six other players must have felt equally comfortable on Isletas greens, posting rounds of 4-under-par 68 to trail Pratt by a shot.
Its a huge relief to play like this, said Amy Langhals of Kalida, Ohio, the first player in the clubhouse today with a 68. I knew I had it in me and I just committed myself to being patient this week.
Joining Langhals at 4 under were Yvonne Cox of Charleston, W.Va., Sung Ah Yim of Seoul, Korea, Kristin Dufour of Austin, Texas, Lisa Chang of Los Angeles, and Lindsey Wright of Albury, Australia.
Nine players are deadlocked at 3-under 69. In all, 41 players of the 144-player field posted sub-par opening rounds. Seventeen others stand at even-par 72.
But if Pratt is anything like fellow Queenslander, Karrie Webb, the warm and abundant New Mexico sunshine tends to bring out the best in her game. Shes been waiting for that hot round, and now shes hoping for another.
The hotter, the better, said Pratt, sounding like Webb during the scorching mid-summer months on the LPGA Tour. Hot weather, hard and fast greens. Bring it on.