Chasing a dream

Rookie transitions to Symetra

Dennis Grall photo Lindsey Weaver follows through on an iron shot during a media golf round Wednesday at Sweetgrass Golf Club in Harris. She is expected to play in the Symetra Tour’s Island Resort Championship at Sweetgrass June 23-25.

By Dennis Grall

For the Daily Press

HARRIS — Lindsey Weaver has already accomplished quite a bit in her young golf career, but now she finds herself in brand new territory.

Weaver, 22, is on her own for the first time as a rookie on the Symetra Tour, The Road to the LPGA. The transition to the pro tour has gone well after spending the last four years on college golf teams, one year at Notre Dame University and the past three seasons at Arizona University.

“It is definitely a transition playing by yourself,” she said Wednesday while attending a media day for the Island Resort Championship at Sweetgrass to be played June 23-25.

After leading what she conceded was “a pampered life” in college as part of a team where the coach is responsible for just about everything, Weaver now has to arrange her own travel, lodging, meals, budget, etc.

“It can be stressful,” she acknowledged, adding “it is fun going to different places and meeting new people.”

But staying by herself at various motels “can get lonely.” The upside, she said, is “I’m chasing my dream.”

She began playing golf at age two and has found immediate success as she gains experience and chases her dream.

After joining Annika Sorenstam in 2012 as the only women to shoot 59, Weaver was co-medalist at the Big East Championship as a Notre Dame freshman and was the conference’s player of the year and freshman of the year. She transferred to Arizona for better weather conditions for golf.

“Notre Dame was not conducive to being a pro golfer. There is only so much you can do indoors,” she said.

She adjusted quickly to the improved weather and led the Wildcats in scoring all three seasons, helped Arizona to the Pac-12 title in 2015 and played in the 2015 U.S. Open at Blackwolf Run in Kohler, Wis.

She usually travels alone, in addition to her small dog. Her dad, Craig, lives in Ohio and is her coach.

“With the technology out there, I have someone take video of my swing and he can look at it. Once I see my swing on the camera, I can pretty much correct it on my own. For the most part I’ve been in a groove,” she said, indicating a tendancy to hook shots.

Off the course she enjoys reading books, watching TV, hiking, running and simply relaxing.

“I’ve learned it is nice to appreciate the alone time,” she said.

While she is used to travel, she is finding her drives to various tournaments “might be a little gruelling.” She flew to the Sweetgrass visit from Albany, N.Y., did some media sessions in Green Bay Tuesday, drove here and then back to Green Bay after Wednesday’s round at Sweetgrass and then flew back to Albany for next week’s Symetra stop.

The tour travel forces her to get comfortable on different greens each week, where she can most impact her scoring status. She putted well in Wednesday’s round and her drives and irons were crisp and in the fairway.

“The Albany greens were so slow, but they will be a lot faster (for the tournament). You have to adapt to everything,” she said.

Finding a comfort level on the greens, and in the lifestyle, will be critical as she pursues her dream of reaching the LPGA Tour. The top 10 money-winners on the Symetra Tour advance to the LPGA each year.

She said her dream “became more realistic after my freshman year” when she reached the No. 1 spot in college golf.

Weaver has a sensible goal at this stage, getting into the top 10 on the Symetra Tour and getting her LPGA card. “You can make money on the LPGA Tour,” she said. “I’m thinking long-term and everything will work out. It is day-by-day.”