Sally Watson during the Allianz Ladies Slovak Open presented by RESPECT
LET rookie Sally Watson from Scotland turned professional in June 2013 and earned LET membership in category 8a when she finished tied for 2nd at the Lalla Aicha Tour School Final Qualifying in December. She has now played a total of 11 LET events and has already recorded two top-10 finishes at the Allianz Ladies Slovak Open presented by RESPECT, where she tied for third, and the Ladies German Open, where she tied for ninth place. She is currently leading the rankings for Rookie of the Year.
We met Sally in Italy, during the Ladies Italian Open and this is what she told us:
Tell us about your golf experiences since you joined the tour.
Right after the Qualifying School in December, I took a couple of weeks off, relaxed and recovered from all the stress that we go through during this event. Then I left for Australia on January 19th to play an ALPG tournament (Bing Lee Fujitsu General Women's NSW Open) and then from Australia to New Zealand to play my first LET event, the ISPS Handa New Zealand Open, which was very exciting. I really enjoyed the experience and I stayed with a host family, who were fantastic and even had the opportunity to go sky diving the day after the tournament ended. That was obviously an incredible experience to sky dive in New Zealand. That was my first time in Australia and New Zealand. (Sally finished T40 in the ISPS Handa New Zealand Open hosted by Christchurch )
After this experience, I came home (Scotland) and then went out to Florida, which is where I went to high school and my swing coach is out there, so it was nice to spend three weeks in the sunshine and obviously preparing for Morocco as well. Then I flew back home for a day or two and headed to Morocco to play my second event, which was good fun and I managed to improve on my finish from New Zealand (T33). This was my second cheque after the one in New Zealand.
After Morocco we had six weeks off and I spent this time in Scotland, practicing with my coach there. I have currently two coaches, one in Scotland and the other one in Florida.
Before Turkey, I went to play the LETAS event in Switzerland to warm up, as I have not played in six weeks and that was a good learning experience. I finished tied for second as I lost in the play-off, which was unfortunate, but still a really good experience and then Turkey, again I improved my finish from Morocco (T22). I think that I started to feel more confident and mature since this tournament. You learnt how to get used to it and also get to know how a week at a tour event goes and how to best prepare myself for the weekend. My dad came both to Morocco and Turkey to caddie for me, and, in Amsterdam it was my sister who caddied for me, which was also really good fun. I have been by myself in Slovakia and Italy, just travelling with a friend.
After Amsterdam, I went to Boston for a week to visit my boyfriend and took a week off. That was really nice to have a holiday and prepare for the six weeks of tournaments.
Slovakia was a great experience. I was leading after the first two rounds and tied for the lead going into the final round. But Camilla Lennarth played fantastically the final round and that was good to watch, and unfortunately I did not play my best. I have been in the final six six groups in the majority of the events that I have played so far. I was close in Amsterdam, but yes, Slovakia was really my first opportunity to win and has been the closest I have ever been to winning an LET event. Still, it was a great learning experience.
I feel like I have been learning a lot this year, which is really the main goal …and getting comfortable with life on tour. You are really going to make rookie mistakes, and the important thing is that you learn from them and hopefully, you do not make them again.
Tell us how you and your game have changed since December.
I think it has improved a lot. My driver has been a lot better, mainly just the accuracy with it and confidence with it and my putting also has got a lot better. I am starting to make more short putts and I am making more birdies recently, which it is nice. I do not think I am not getting closer with the irons, as I think I have been doing it for the main part of the season, this is normally one of my strengths, but yes… Probably, I am having much more distance control and accuracy with my irons. I would say that everything is getting tighter, it has to be at this level. You have to raise everything to the next level.
I feel like that everything is getting there and it is exciting. I feel like I can definitely put myself in contention in another event this year, hopefully in more than one event this year and use my experience from Slovakia to hopefully get a different result next time.
What are your goals for the season?
My main goal for the year is trying to be the Rookie of the Year. I am fortunate that I am in a very strong class so lots of good competition. I am just keep pushing me to get better. A lot of events to go still, but I hope to maintain my position on top of that list. Obviously you have only one chance to be rookie of the year, so it would be nice to do it.
How have you found the travelling?
I have been travelling with my family and these last events with a friend of mine from the Philippines, Mia Piccio. We were friends since high school and it has been fun. I find the travelling a little tough to be honest. Driving in Morocco at the Qualifying School was a little scary, but we did not repeat it in Agadir! Everything has been normal.
Click here to see Sally Watson's results
Find complete Rookie of the Year rankings here
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