My Shot After missing 27 cuts in a row, I found sweet redemption at the Sara Lee Classic

May 24, 1999
May 24, 1999

Table of Contents
May 24, 1999

Faces In The Crowd

My Shot After missing 27 cuts in a row, I found sweet redemption at the Sara Lee Classic

By Nadine Ash Edited by Cameron Morfit

Hans Merensky Golf Club in Phalaborwa, South Africa--the course
on which I grew up--teemed with hippos and warthogs, plus
wandering elephants that sometimes knocked down trees. Back then
I thought that learning to play on a course bordering Kruger
National Park would prepare me for anything in life. Then I
joined the LPGA.

This is an article from the May 24, 1999 issue

Last season, my rookie year, I made 18 starts on the tour and
didn't win a dime--that's right, I didn't make a single cut.
This year I missed in my first nine tries. My closest brush with
the money list came at the Australian Ladies Masters, in
February, when I shot 74-73 and missed the cut by two shots. By
last week's Sara Lee Classic, I was 0 for 27, so when I shot a
first-round 66, I had to make sure I didn't get too excited. I
had opened with a 68 at the '98 Sara Lee, but lost focus while
gazing at my name on the leader board--LOPEZ, ASH--and shot a
second-round 76 to miss by one. Not this time. On Saturday, in
the most important round of my life, I shot a 72 and knew that
my six-under total would make it. I was in!

I shot a 76 on Sunday, and my first paycheck was for $1,056. I
was thrilled, considering I made just $8,000 last year: $5,000
for finishing third at the Morgantown Classic on the Futures
tour, $2,000 in pro-ams and $1,000 for using a certain brand of
putter. At one event I saved money by staying in a motel with
the caddies. At others I used the private housing provided by
the tour. I spent a lot of time behind the wheel driving my '96
Honda Civic from event to event instead of flying. In October, I
went back to Q school, where I regained my card by finishing
20th, but I didn't make any money there either. (Only the top 15
got paid.)

I'm glad I stuck it out, though. I'll take my first check, put a
photocopy of it in an album and try not to spend all the money
in one place. I realize now that I was too intense in '98, that
I need to back off and let it happen. I'm just glad it's finally

Nadine Ash, 26, is 169th on the '99 LPGA money list.