LAKE OCONEE, Ga. – The road stops here for “Big Break” Atlantis alumna and LPGA player Anya Alvarez.
At 25 years young, the 2014 LPGA rookie has decided to leave professional golf. The Big Break Invitational Reynolds Plantation was her last professional event, where she failed to advance past the first two rounds.
“I’ve always had other passions,” Alvarez said. “I’ve always loved politics, and I’ve always loved writing and I’ve wanted to start pursuing that. … I wasn’t happy playing, and I didn’t feel like it brought out the best in me. There are other things I feel like, that do.”
Alvarez played on the Symetra Tour full-time in 2012 and 2013, and had conditional LPGA status in 2014. In 12 LPGA events this year, she missed the cut in 10 of them. Her best finish was a T-35 at the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic in July that earned her $9K.
“I learned very quickly that I was a homebody. I didn’t like being on the road four weeks in a row and living out of a suitcase. I made some great friends, I had a lot of great opportunities, I got to travel to some really cool places, but I just decided that my energy spent playing golf and traveling wasn’t being utilized. I’ve always wanted to make a difference and I didn’t feel, playing golf, I was making one.”
Alvarez got the writing gene from her mother, who writes poetry. Alvarez has always had a passion for journalism and for politics. When her high school newspaper refused to let her cover issues she wanted – controversial topics like birth control, for example – she started her own newspaper. A half-dozen other students from area high schools reported to Alvarez, and they published and distributed their own paper to schools and local coffee shops.
It was that same get-after-it attitude that helped Alvarez land a job at the Tulsa Voice in Tulsa, OK, where she resides. She starts her first day reporting for the independent alternative publication on Monday.
“I emailed the editor, the owner of the publication, the managing editor, the graphic designer. I hounded everyone there and told them that I wanted to write, and I got to meet with the guy who owns the publication, and I sent him a portfolio of my writing and he liked it, and he was kind enough to give me an opportunity to start writing there.”
The decision to step away from professional golf was inevitable.
“I didn’t ever plan to play golf forever,” Alvarez said, “and I knew that eventually I would start pursuing (writing), I just didn’t know when. I really started to put thought into it. I made the final decision about a month ago.
“I’ll definitely miss the people. I met a lot of great girls out on tour. There’s a camaraderie out there where you can kind of have your own family, and I’ll miss the competition. I am a competitive person, but I’ll be in a competitive field in its own way.”