DAYTONA BEACH, FLA | At the Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout, Anita Uwadia shot a career-worst 10-over 82 in the opening round. She followed with a 78 the next day and missed the cut, prompting her to take a week off to spend time with her coach and refocus her game. Barely two weeks after that disastrous stint in Arkansas, Uwadia shot a career best 10-under 62 in the final round of the Epson Tour Championship, which was also the lowest round of the day.
“For me it’s kind of unreal,” Uwadia said smiling wide after walking off the 18th green. “I didn't play the last event because I was quite off mentally with my game. For me to play a career low a week after, it’s pretty nice and it’s obviously a confidence booster. I’m excited to end the season this way. I didn’t expect it, I’m not going to lie.”
Uwadia entered the final round -9 overall, eight shots back of the lead. She started her Sunday with five straight birdies and by the time she reached the eighth tee she was already 6-under par.
“When you’re making so many birdies you get nervous,” Uwadia said of her mindset during that birdiefest. “I told myself, ‘Anita if it’s your day, it’s your day. Anything can happen in one hole, so don't even think about the future. Just focus on routine on every single shot.’ And that’s what I did."
Uwadia’s birdie streak finally ended on the eighth hole. Then, she missed a three-foot putt for birdie on the ninth green. Those two pars were critical for Uwadia on the back nine, because it dispelled some of those nerves she was feeling and set her up for success.
“I missed the putt and I was like, ‘Well Anita, you just missed a three-footer, you know you’re not going to make every single putt today,’” Uwadia said, laughing. “It kind of calmed me down. I wasn't really thinking, ‘oh, let's just go make a bunch of birdies on the back,’ because it got windier and I just missed a putt. I was kind of free.”
She carded five more birdies and just one bogey to tie her career best result – T4 at -19 – and end her third Epson Tour season on a positive note. With her T4 finish, Uwadia earned $10,275, which bumped her from No. 61 on the money list to No. 45.
“Two weeks ago, I had no idea where the ball was going, absolutely no idea where the ball was going,” Uwadia said. “I think the biggest motivation for me this week is that I’ve worked on shots and that I can see the shots now. The biggest thing is just being able to see the shots that I want to hit and executing them under pressure.”
Despite the jump on the money list, Uwadia will still have to compete in Stage II for a chance at an LPGA Tour card. But ending the Epson season on a high note bodes well for Uwadia’s next challenge. She’s proud of her performance in every round of the Epson Tour Championship, but Sunday’s 10-under round was definitely the highlight – and her biggest motivation entering Q-School.
“If you shoot 62 any day it’s a big motivation that you can do it, it’s in you.”