Thanks to the Wildhorse Ladies Golf Classic making its debut on the Epson Tour schedule, some pros get to return to familiar territories. A few return to the state in which they played collegiate golf, while others are at home.
Gigi Stoll is one of those players who calls Oregon home. Although she’s from three hours away in Beaverton, Oregon, Stoll was thrilled to see Pendleton on the 2022 schedule.
“I’m really excited,” said Stoll. “I’ve been hoping that Epson would be able to put a stop in Oregon, and I’m happy that they were able to do it. Coming back to Oregon is exciting.”
For most, being near home naturally brings positive energy to the week. For those who live on the west coast, playing near home means familiar faces walking the course and receiving support in person rather than via social media. After spending most of the season playing on the east coast, Stoll is ready for some in person cheering.
“It means a lot,” said Stoll. “You’re out here for most of the year by yourself, so it’s fun to have some support out here in person.”
In a game of ups and downs – and one that changes day-by-day – Stoll reminds herself to be positive and patient. While some rounds or tournaments may not end the way she wants them to, she remains “neutral” and kind to herself.
“Playing a game that tugs at your emotions, it’s really important to try and stay neutral,” said Stoll. “I continue to tell myself that I’m doing all the right things on an off the golf course and it will pay off. Being in Oregon this week brings back a lot of good memories for me and it reminds me of where I came from and why continue I pursue golf.”
Stoll started her season strong, with five top-30 finishes before June. She missed four consecutive cuts in July and August, but most recently finished T50 at the Circling Raven Championship. Getting back into Sunday golf was good momentum for Stoll heading into this week’s Wildhorse Ladies Golf Classic.
“The level of competition on the Epson Tour might be the best it has ever been right now,” said Stoll. “I believe the top 50 on this tour could compete on the LPGA. That really pushes me to give it 110% day in and day out.”
Currently No. 45 on the Official Money List, Stoll has five weeks to make a push and jump up the rankings. A finish in the top-35 at the end of the season would allow her to head straight to Q-Series and compete for her LPGA card. A top performance in her home state this week could propel her towards the finish line.
“There’s still a lot of money on the table and you never know what could happen,” said Stoll. “As we get closer to the end, my goal is to not put a lot of pressure on myself and treat each event the same. I’m focused on sticking to my process and executing shots in the moment because that’s all I can control.”