Golf at Goodwood’s Holly Aitchison is back from the US Open. Here she describes the experience, in the latest in a series of Goodwood-related columns for the Observer
“Having just returned from the US Women’s Open, I am still trying to reflect on what was a fantastic experience and the highlight of my career to date.
Although I was disappointed not to make the cut, I can look back on an incredible week on golf’s biggest stage.
Playing in my first US Women’s Open and first golf tournament in America was incredible. The tournament is the best-run event I’ve ever attended and the course, the people and the facilities were all phenomenal.
I am used to decent-size crowds in attendance but nothing on the scale of what I witnessed at the Lancaster Country Club, Pennsylvania. That was perhaps one of the greatest differences between the US Open and any tournament I’ve played previously.
Having arrived on the Sunday, I played nine holes the next morning to dust off some travelling cobwebs and was amazed by the rows of people watching – it was crazy!
I don’t think the crowds affected my game; I didn’t really feel extra pressure as the atmosphere was so good around the golf course and I was able to soak it all up and really enjoy myself.
I’ll admit I certainly felt a few extra nerves during the event but I guess that’s only normal in a tournament of such magnitude.
My main goal going into the US Open was to learn as much as possible and enjoy the experience so that’s what I tried to focus on whenever I got nervous.
Playing in a world-class event against the world’s best was a real learning curve and I’ve come away with a lot of positive feelings about the whole experience. The course was hugely challenging but it was beneficial for my development to play such a long golf course and test my distance.
My ball striking was very good last week but most of all I was delighted with how I coped with all the nervous energy I had during the week.
Going forward, I will be taking positives from my performance but I am really looking to kick on from it. I will be working on a few bits over the coming weeks in Europe, especially trying to tidy up a few edges to my short game and mental strength.
My next tournament will be the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open at Dundonald, Troon from July 24 to 26.”
* To follow Holly’s progress please follow @hollyaitchison or for more information on Golf At Goodwood please visit www.goodwood.com/Golf-at-Goodwood.
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