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Tinkering with the game

So we are finally getting into a swing of things out on tour. I just got home from a redeye flight from Brazil, which was the third event of three in a row.

I am now going to enjoy a week off in hot, sunny Florida and get ready for my next swing of five straight events, ending with the U.S. Open. This is the stretch of the season that I have really been looking forward to. I have been waiting to get in a rhythm with tournaments.

The past three weeks were neither great nor terrible, kind of like the beginning of the whole season. I had a decent week going in Mobile, Alabama, but storms shortened our tournament to three days and I ended up with a 15th place finish.

I was unable to make it through the second round of match play up in New Jersey, making just one birdie and one bogey in my match against Catriona Matthew. I discovered that a lot of pars is better for a U.S. Open, not a match play event.

This past week I finished up my three weeks with a T-4 finish in Brazil in our exhibition two-day event. As much as I enjoyed my few days down in Brazil, I sure am glad to be home to work on some things in the golf game.

I haven’t been able to exactly pinpoint what has been holding me back from really scoring and putting myself in contention each week. Then this past week in Brazil, I was playing my typical money match practice round with Angela Stanford when I had a birdie putt to take her money and put a stroke on the ball that scared her more than it scared the hole.

After the round, she and Stacy Lewis were very helpful with a few tips that were much needed. Apparently you cannot start the ball on line when you line up left of your target line and take the putter back way inside. I have stuck with the belly putter for three years because of my tendencies to line up left and push the ball back to my target.

But over the last month or so, I have found myself fickeling and tweaking things in search of “the stroke” or just something that works. So my main focus this week off will be spending a lot of time on the practice green getting squared up and getting comfortable over the ball again. I always like knowing that I’m going to make a putt and not just hoping that the ball goes in the hole.

I am looking forward to “figuring out” some things in this crazy game that we love before I hit the road for the next five weeks. It should be a fun five weeks with stops in Springfield, Ill., Atlantic City, N.J., Rochester, N.Y., Toledo, Ohio then ending with the U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club in Pennsylvania.

Some of the family and lots of friends are going to make the trip up to Atlantic City for what should be a fun week. I rented us a beach house up there dangerously close to the casinos. It should be a great time and it’s always nice to have some family and friends out at a few events thoughout the year.

During our busy weeks, in between our sponsor parties and pro-am functions, I always find time to enjoy the areas that I am fortunate enough to get to travel to. So I’m sure my whole crowd and I might find our way to a craps table up in Atlantic City.

This past stretch I was able to get up to New York City with some friends to see a Broadway Show and a couple of baseball games at the New York Mets’ new Citi Field. In Brazil, I got the unbelievable red meat experience of a Brazilian steakhouse when a large crowd of my friends took me there for a pretty amazing birthday dinner. NYC, baseball games and a good steak will always make a southern girl happy.

So let’s figure some things out this week off, then take it on the road for our prime stretch of the season, including two majors.Until next time keep the birdies flying.

KRISTY MCPHERSON is a Conway native and LPGA Tour member. Her column appears the first Tuesday of each month in the Sun News.

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