After tying her low round of the season, Gerina Piller didn’t hold back.
“This is probably the best I've ever felt in my career,” said Piller, who tallied seven birdies as part of a 6-under 65 Friday at the Marathon LPGA Classic.
The 36-year-old Piller was ranked inside the top 40 in the world rankings when she took a break from the tour for the birth of her first child, son A.J., who was born in May 2018. Since returning early that next year, Piller has notched just two top-10s – and none since the 2019 Volunteers of America Classic – while dropping to No. 141 in the world entering this week. Her career-best rank is No. 15, achieved in 2016.
However, despite her record, Piller believes becoming a mom has had a positive impact on her game.
“Two parts of my career, before A.J. and after A.J.,” said Piller, a four-time runner-up on the LPGA who is still searching for win No. 1. “Before I felt like there were areas of my game that really needed work, and I just didn't see the improvement in those areas, mainly short game, chipping. And now, I don't know if it's a mom thing, but I'm not afraid to miss the green because I know my chipping is really good or I know my putting is really good.
“So, I feel like now my game all around is trending, so it's very comforting to know.”
Piller has found success by switching things up this year. Earlier this season, she changed instructors, and on Thursday she switched back to her old putter, which was only out of the bag for one week.
It’s all paying dividends through 36 holes at Highland Meadows Golf Club in Sylvania, Ohio, where she’s 8 under and within striking distance of the lead.
Her key for the weekend? Actually, it’s not switching things up.
“Just kind of doing the same thing,” she said. “Why change if it's already working?”