There have been four aces so far at LPGA Q-Series, one of which belongs to England’s Meghan MacLaren. The 27-year-old hit a choke-down 9-iron on the par-3 13th at Highland Oaks on Saturday and used the slope of the green to her advantage en route to her second-ever hole-in-one. And making the momentous occasion even more special is MacLaren’s father who is on the bag for week two of LPGA Q-Series, once again getting to see his daughter execute the elusive perfect shot.
"There was a little backstop behind the pin and the pin was in a similar position in round one, except we were hitting 5-iron that day, but I used the backstop really well that day,” MacLaren said of her strategy. “Today I knew I could play past the pin and let it come back. It's kind of like slow motion watching it. Like it looks like it's getting closer, but you're never quite sure and then it just disappeared. I've only had one hole-in-one before and (my dad) was there for that one as well, so he's the only one that's got to see both of them so he'll claim that I think.”
MacLaren turned professional in 2016 and since then has been grinding it out on the Ladies European Tour and Epson Tour. She’s won twice on the LET in her career and in 2021, the Brit nabbed a win at the Prasco Charity Championship in June while also recording two additional top-ten finishes. LPGA Tour status would be life-changing for anyone in this week’s field and MacLaren echoes that sentiment, feeling like she’s more than ready to take on that challenge. At the moment, she’s on the cut line at -4 but isn’t planning on pressing too hard with 18 holes to play.
“It would mean a lot for me,” said MacLaren of earning status on the LPGA Tour. “I think now for the first time I truly feel like I'm ready to compete out there, so it makes you want it even more. But you just have to keep backing yourself and what's supposed to happen will happen. My ball-striking has come on quite a lot in the past couple years. I hit it a little bit further now which helps. And then it's just a trust thing.
“I spent most of my career having doubts and I think everyone has those, but I think I'm much better at trusting my game and being able to handle everything that happens now. It's cliche but just do the same thing. I've played a lot of really, really good golf over the past two weeks and I can back myself to perform whenever the pressure is on. I've had to do that last week after two rounds and even today, so just trust myself.”