Sarah White has known since age 5 that she wanted to be a professional golfer.
When a producer from ABC’s “Holey Moley” discovered White on Instagram and asked if she would be interested in trying out for the extreme mini-golf show, it wasn’t exactly the role she’d pictured growing up. But she’s competitive, and well, why not. It could be fun.
“I don’t know how to train for this,” she said of the ziplines, inflatables, hazardous port-a-potties, mechanical gopher and daunting solar system. The road to the LPGA doesn’t typically go through Hollywood, but nothing about 2020 has been predictable.
White turned pro at the start of the year and planned to attend LPGA Q-School after she finished her degree at Texas State in the spring. The COVID-19 pandemic, of course, canceled qualifying for the season.
Suddenly mini-tour golf was the only thing left.
A fifth-place finish at the Texarkana Children’s Charities Open on the Women’s All Pro Tour earned White $1,690 and a spot in the Symetra Tour’s Tribute at Longbow Golf Club in Meza, Arizona. White took full advantage of the opportunity by winning in her first Symetra Tour start, edging Casey Danielson and Sophia Popov by one stroke. Popov went on to win the AIG Women’s British Open the next week at Royal Troon in extraordinary fashion.
“I was just a nobody on the mini-tours,” said White, who won $18,750 for her efforts.
This week White enters the IOA Classic in Longwood, Florida, at 69th on the Symetra Tour’s money list with $2,505. Her winner’s check in Arizona doesn’t count because she was a non-member at the time. If her unofficial earnings and official earnings were combined, she’d be sixth on the money list. The top five players this season earn LPGA cards for 2021. There are five events left on the schedule.
White, 23, understands why her money isn’t official, but “it just stinks.”
“Just makes me want to work harder,” she said.
When the pandemic hit, White and her coach, Craig Piscopink, went to work on overhauling her putting. If you’re going to make a cake, her asked her, what’s the main ingredient?
When it comes to putting, he said, speed is the flour.
White focused on the main ingredient for nine weeks and it changed everything.
Piscopink said she shaved a significant number of strokes on the greens. At the Texarkana event, White led the field with 20 birdies. At Longbow, she finished 15 under par.
Couple that with the raw athleticism White possesses, and her potential skyrocketed.
White, inspired by older brother Brett, played boys hockey for 14 years. She started out as a forward until puberty hit and the game got more physical. Move to girls hockey, her dad told her, or move to goalie.
“You’re not getting thrown around on the boards,” he said.
Competing against the boys
By: Beth Ann Nichols
Title: Holey Moley: Sarah White's leap from mini-tour unknown to Symetra Tour winner better than Hollywood
Sourced From: golfweek.usatoday.com/2020/09/25/sarah-white-mini-tour-unknown-symetra-tour-winner/
Published Date: Fri, 25 Sep 2020 11:00:03 +0000