The point — Medalist Pauline Roussin-Bouchard’s post-round interview Q-School Stage II — Must-click women’s golf links
The IX: Golf Thursday with Sarah Kellam, October 28, 2021
I’m a firm believer that when serendipity knocks, you have to answer. When you’re being told to do something, you have to take the chance. “The point” is what I call it. That feeling when things seem meant to be, or the universe jibes with you, or the puzzle pieces start to fall into place. That’s the point. That’s what you should listen to.
When the opportunity to write at The IX came up a year ago, it felt like something I had to pursue. Recently being laid off from Golf Channel, I had loaded up the remnants of my life in Florida and headed back home to Kentucky, back to my childhood bedroom, back to square one.
In a moment of desperation, I reached out to Beth Ann Nichols for advice about breaking into the writing space. It was a pleasant, informative email conversation and we signed off with promises to keep in touch as needed. The last thing I expected was an email from Howard Megdal in my inbox asking if I’d be interested in taking over Golf Thursday for The IX on recommendation from Beth Ann.
I was floored and wondered why he’d be interested in me — someone with no formal writing training or journalism degrees. But with unemployment comes a willingness to do anything, and what better job to take than writing about a sport I adored for a female-centric newsletter. It had to be a “point”. So we chatted, I vetted the publication, the digital ink on the agreement dried, and as they say, the rest is history.
It’s been a little over a year since y’all started reading my weekly column and now I’m sorry to say this will be my last Golf Thursday for The IX.
While I just started a new job with the LPGA Tour and am having a blast in my first month as a Tour Media Official, I am incredibly sad to be leaving this newsletter and you, dear readers, behind. When I started this gig, I had absolutely no idea where it would lead, merely considering it an opportunity to scratch my creative itch and get real-world experience in a part of golf journalism that I hadn’t had a chance to wander into just yet.
However, Golf Thursday has meant so much more to my professional growth than I ever could’ve imagined. It opened doors at the LPGA and Global Golf Post, both of whom I’ve had the pleasure to write for over the course of the past year. It’s allowed me to interview important people in the golf industry that I never would’ve been able to like Mike Whan, Hally Leadbetter, Oneda Castillo, and so many others. It allowed me to be a paid, published writer, a goal I always wanted to accomplish but didn’t think was possible to tackle until I was more seasoned and more respected in the golf community.
But most importantly, it allowed me to grow. I remember how scared I was in the beginning to rock the boat, to share opinions that I thought would be too controversial, to write from the heart. The last 12 months have been a personal case study in vulnerability and “practice makes perfect”. I’ve come out of this experience not just a better writer but a better advocate, a better woman in sports, a better representative that seeks to act on what she preaches.
And to Howard, and the wonderfully talented group of people that make up the staff of The IX, I want to say thank you for that opportunity. Thank you for letting me grow. Thank you for letting me learn. Thank you for letting me get better. Of course, thanks to you too, readers, for not only opening the Golf Thursday email every week but for engaging with and listening to me rant and rave and prescribe and lament. It means the world.
As the door swings shut behind me, I want to leave you with a challenge. And no, this one isn’t women’s golf-related. Spending the last year as a freelance content creator taught me so much about myself, about what it takes to survive in the golf and media industries, about how valuable adaptability is.
I want to encourage you to take risks, to be bold, to follow “the points” that come up in your life, in your career, heck, even when you’re walking your dog in the wee hours of the morning. I’ve had to do a lot of following over the past year and trust me when I say I have yet to be led astray. Whether you believe it’s God, the universe, manifestation, whatever, there’s nothing wrong with taking a leap of faith. If you fail, you fail. Pick yourself up and keep going.
That’s one of the most beautiful things about golf: you have endless chances to get the ball in the hole. If you hit one awry, go find it and hit it again. The same applies to life. Something doesn’t work? Change it. You feel called to go in a different direction? Answer the bell.
As Shirley Spork said while crashing Brooke Henderson’s post-round interview at this year’s Founders Cup, “That’s the thing about the game of golf. You have 18 chances to be brave.” In life, there are a thousand. Take advantage of them. You never know where following the point will lead.
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Five at The IX: Pauline Roussin-Bouchard, medalist at Q-School Stage II
When you started the day was winning on the mind? I know yesterday you gave me the, ‘I keep it to myself’, but did you want to win it when you stepped on the course today?
Winning is always in my mind. I just keep it for myself. It’s just winning is about the result and it doesn’t depend on you completely. Like you never know if someone is going to shoot 10-under or 9-under, so I was just trying to focus on what I can control and the controllable for me. And then I mean, it happen what just happened. Of course I was trying to go low. I told my caddie on the first hole, Go low or go home because I read this morning on Instagram on the French guy who’s playing pretty good on the European Tour. I was like, I like that. So I just used it and it was kind of the motivation for today.
Was that the inspiration for your front nine?
We called the green the dance floor and we were just talking about doing the right move, dancing the right way on the green. So it was all about that. Fairway and dance floor and just dance on it.
It’s been a big transitional year for you turning pro, advancing now to Q-Series. What’s on your mind and how do you deal with the pressure coming through, just moving through all the different transitions?
I don’t even know right now. It’s just I think it’s going to get clearer and clearer the more I’m going to get closer to Q-Series. I will go back to school, go back to my life and just go back to practice, work, and stay focused until Q-Series. It’s going to be about like the same mentality. Just enjoy the process and enjoy the moment. There is pressure obviously, but it’s a good one. It’s one that I’m going to have for a long time on tour hopefully. I like it, so it’s just a good challenge for me.
What’s your plan for the next month? Where are you going? Where are you practicing at?
Back to school, back in class. I’m flying tomorrow morning at 6:00 in the morning to be able to go to class on Monday night. So it’s just back to workout, golf, school, and just enjoying some time with my friends at the University of South Carolina. I have three weeks off and playing in Pebble Beach, and then I have one week and Q-Series. So just going to be about getting ready to play Q-Series and get ready golf-wise, but especially physically. So going to work on that. Diet-wise as well, nutrition. So just going to be trying to get ready the best I can.
What class do you got tomorrow?
You’re going to laugh. It’s a drawing class. Introduction to Drawing.
You like to draw anything in particular?
I do. I used to draw a lot, and it’s something that I really enjoy to do, so I chose this class, eight weeks class. It started last Monday but I missed the first two, and I’ve been trying to keep up with the class being away.
Do you bring a doodle pad on the road?
I have everything I need. But it’s something I carry with me all the time even before having this class just in case I want to. I don’t know, happens sometimes. I have all the materials.
Very cool. What’s your art style?
So I don’t consider myself as artist, to be honest, because I don’t know..you can’t tell me, ‘Oh, you see this street, just draw the street’, or I can’t create things, but I can reproduce. So it’s just about just copying what’s in front of me.