The IX: Golf Thursday with Carly Grenfell, October 24, 2019
Women's PGA Cup — Interview with Brittany Kelly — Must-click links in women's golf
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Women’s PGA Cup
I am in Austin this week at the inaugural Women’s PGA Cup, where five countries get to compete against each other in a stroke-play format. It’s a 54-hole stroke play event with each team’s lowest three scores are counted after each round. The winning country with the lowest 54-hole aggregate score wins. If you’ve watched a college championship, it’s the same format.
The field is made up of PGA Associations from Australia, Canada, Great Britain and Ireland, Sweden and obviously the United States. Each team is made up of five players—who are women PGA Teaching, Coaching and Club Professionals. So, in other words, these women are essentially the hands and feet of the PGA and our boots in the ground. They are running golf shops, teaching lessons and doing many other things to grow the game of golf in their respective countries.
This is exciting because it’s the inaugural year. While our membership is only around 20% women compared to roughly 80% men, it’s a big deal to give these women a platform to not only compete, but represent their countries as well. Suzy Whaley, the PGA President and our first female President, was a huge reason this came to life. She is serving as the United States Captain this week.
“This week is an exciting opportunity for women PGA Professionals to represent their country in a global competition. That’s rare in golf, and we believe that this inaugural Women’s PGA Cup is very special. We want to see this competition expand and extend awareness of great female PGA Professionals around the world. The five teams competing in Austin this week will write a memorable chapter in PGA history.” — Suzy Whaley
Similar to the Men’s PGA Cup held in September, there is no prize money at the end of the weekend (the last day being Saturday, October 26). Simply put, it is an experience to compete on a bigger stage, with your team and for your country. And especially for the women, it’s an opportunity that hasn’t existed until now! These five times are in a unique position, because no matter who finishes on top, they can still look back on these last few days and say they were the first to ever compete in the Women’s PGA Cup. That’s pretty awesome, if you ask me.
The first day shaped up to be an exciting one as Canada and the United States swapped places on the leaderboard between first and second. The United States, Captained by PGA President Suzy Whaley, had the strongest finish and hold a two-stroke lead heading into tomorrow! The standings finished with the United States at +3, Canada at +5, Australia at +18, Great Britain & Ireland at +21 and Sweden at +23.
What I noticed today, given the format, is that there can be massive swing changes in scores. Pardon my ignorance as I’ve never covered an event with this format—ha! In one shot, the United States could go from leading by four to trailing by four and in second place. So, needless to say, the unpredictable nature of stroke-play is going to make for a dramatic finish.
Brittany Kelly for the United States team definitely gets my game ball. She had a heck of a round and played a significant hand in giving her team the lead after carding a round-best 3-under. Head on down to the interview section to see what she had to say!
This Week in Women’s Golf
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Check out my podcast with the PGA, Fairway Tales.
Coming off another win, Danielle Kang is still on a roll this week in Korea.
United States joins international cast in writing history at the Women’s PGA Cup.
Kaufman takes the day-one lead at Q-series.
Emma Talley finding strength in faith on latest golf struggles.
At least one college standout plans to go pro after Q-series.
No matter life’s obstacles, Haley Moore continues to #DriveOn.
LPGA Commish Mike Whan sees strength in growth of LPGA prize money.
This weekend’s groups and tee times at the BMW Championship.
Take a look at the college stars battling for a spot at Q-series.
Kristen Gillman making her presence felt on the LPGA Tour.
Mike Whan remains encouraged by purse growth on the LPGA.
Daytona Beach’s LPGA golf courses have a new owner, at last.
The rise of LPGA-tour bound Leona Maguire.
Former LPGA prodigy Lydia Ko trying to gain back her confidence.
Hall of Famer Karrie Webb is starting a golf course design business.
Tweet of the Week
Five at The IX: Brittany Kelly
After the first round of action at Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa in Austin, Texas, the United States team finished at the top of the standings, although it was back-and-forth all day with Team Canada. United States Team member Brittany Kelly, who shot the low-round of the day at 3-under, helped propel the United States to the top of the standings after day one.
Q: Day one of the inaugural Women’s PGA Cup is in the books. How does it feel?
A: It was a great experience already on day one getting to play with others around the world and play at a fabulous facility on a great golf course. I stuck with it today and was able to make some putts and play my game, which I was going into today with that mindset. I’m glad I was able to help out my team
Q: You shot the low-round of the day. What was working for you out there?
A: I’d say I was sticking with my plan with the driver. I struck the ball very well off the tee. Only made a couple mistakes here and there but my putting on those holes saved me. I gave myself some chances for some birdies that I was patient for. Like I said, it came down to my game plan and I didn’t let up off the tee. It was driver almost every single hole and I just went after it.
Q: The team has to feel pretty good about your position, leading after day one. What’s your mindset going into tomorrow?
A: I think we go into it the same way we did today. You still have to play your game and we’ll play our game and if that just happens to be the best scores out there, then so be it!
Q: What has your golf journey been like leading up to this event?
A: My golf journey has been ups and downs and every little bit of it started out when I was younger and enjoying the game of golf with my family and learning the game. I started to have an itch to keep playing and the passion started to develop. I went on and played in college and tried to play a little professionally. I think my true passion is being able to play in events like this one and hopefully can inspire future generations to play golf, and still work in the industry too. My journey is very unique but I love every bit of it.
Q: What are you looking forward to tomorrow?
A: First of, I’m looking forward to going to see my team! That’s first on the list; get a chance to recap the day for each of us and then go after the holes again tomorrow.