Proving she can do it key for Hoskin

Laura Hoskin in her MIQ room in Christchurch yesterday. PHOTO: LAURA HOSKIN
Laura Hoskin in her MIQ room in Christchurch yesterday. PHOTO: LAURA HOSKIN
Laura Hoskin says knowing she belongs at the top level is the most significant result from her first crack at the biggest professional tour in the world.

The Otago golfer is ticking off her days in MIQ after returning from California, where she played in the first round of qualifying school for the LPGA Tour.

Hoskin played superbly, missing the cut by only a stroke and earning some status on the LPGA’s development tour, the Symetra Tour.

"I’m really happy with how I performed," she told the Otago Daily Times from MIQ in Christchurch yesterday.

"I played some of my best professional golf while I was in America, and I’m really happy with how I played when I was put under pressure.

"My short game and putting were phenomenal. I was really pleased with my putting.

"I changed my putter in America, right before Q-School, and it was the best thing I’ve done in a year and a-half."

Hoskin (25) played college golf in Oregon and Mississippi.

But qualifying school was her first opportunity to tackle the best players, on their home conditions, as a professional.

"I hadn’t actually played professional golf in America, so I didn’t know how I stacked up against the girls over there, and I really had no idea how good my golf was going to be.

"I probably left a good four shots on the course, and I missed the cut by one.

"Obviously that sucks, but I proved to myself that I’m definitely good enough to be playing over there.

"I’ve proved to myself, more than anything, that I can do it, so I’m really excited for the future."

Hoskin, who has played as a professional in Asia, said preparing to dip her toe into the American circuit had been tough.

Stuck in New Zealand as the Covid-19 pandemic raged, she was restricted to playing events that had only a few professional women in the field.

Her performance at Q-School will allow her to play some Symetra Tour events in 2022 but she will not know how many until the end of this American season.

She will return to the US in April to join the third-tier Women’s All Pro Tour, playing fulltime on that during the Symetra Tour season and leading into another crack at Q-School.

European qualifying school was on the cards at some stage but Hoskin will leave that until next year when the Covid situation will hopefully be clearer.

The consolation of the Auckland outbreak is that it has pushed the New Zealand golf calendar back, so she will get more time to prepare for Charles Tour and PGA events at home.

Hoskin enjoyed having father Richard with her in the US for support before spending a week catching up with old college friends in Atlanta.

There is not much room to swing a club in her MIQ room but she has a spin cycle, a balcony and the prospect of catching up with her boyfriend and family when she gets out on Thursday.

"The last few days have been really hard but other than that, it’s been fine.

"Everyone is so supportive. The nurses are fantastic, and the staff downstairs are so nice if you want anything, and never make you feel like you’re being a nuisance."

hayden.meikle@odt.co.nz

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