In professional golf, players can be plagued by loneliness. I can attest to that. It’s often the rookie that falls victim to that trap. My first year on the Epson Tour consisted of a lot of lonely nights in hotel rooms, long drives with my golf clubs occupying the passenger seat, and airplane isles full of strangers. However, I quickly learned as many players do, that there is an antidote to that, one that your parents probably taught you in pre-K. Still, every so often we need reminding: the answer is pretty simple. Make friends. Sounds easy, but when you mix some competition into the fire things get a little more complicated. Regardless, if you’re lucky, you find a few people who you grow close to. They become your family while on the road.
This week at Stage II of Q-school we are seeing a clear display of players tag-teaming. Six players in the field have a fellow Epson Tour player carrying their bags.
Here is what the lineup looks like - Julianne Alvarez caddying for Abegail Arevalo, Vicky Hurst for Roberta Liti, Anna Appert Lund for Louise Ridderstrom, Lindsey McCurdy for Alisa Rodriguez, Laetitia Beck for Kathleen Scavo, and Daniela Iacobelli for Sarah White.
With the Epson Tour season concluding just over a month ago, it is a quick turnaround from competitors to teammates, but the duos are excited to get things going. Having a fellow player standing on the other side of the bag could prove wise.
For Alisa Rodriguez, that is what she is hoping will help at Plantation Golf Club. “I'm just excited to have somebody that like plays golf and is really good at golf,” said Rodriguez. “And just to get some extra reads or extra eyes on the reads.”
On the flip side, Lindsey McCurdy is confident that her golf experience will add extra value this week.
“But just with her, you know, being a player myself like I feel like I kind of know what a player would want. Just keeping it kind of like relaxed I think is the most important thing this week.”
The Rodriguez and McCurdy duo won’t be the only ones keeping it light during Stage II. Between the friendship of Sarah White and Daniela Iacobelli there is not much tension and a whole lot of laughter.
“We practice together, and not because our games are very, very similar, but we both have similar mindsets when it comes to attacking a golf course, and we are both very, very honest and open with each other,” said White. “That's just what our friendship is, is, you know, like if I am like, dude, I have no idea where this is breaking, there is no judgment from her being like, okay, totally fine.”
With four wins in her career and the latest coming in Oregon with White on the bag, Iacobelli believes she has plenty of knowledge and experience to share with White.
“She's kind of me ten years ago, so I get to just kind of tell myself what to do,” said Iacobelli. “She was obviously on the bag when I won in Oregon, so rightfully I have to return the favor.”
Even though the standards are high for this team, they are setting small goals that they hope will create successful results. However, whether White ends up with Epson or LPGA status, she is excited for next year.
“Epson [Tour] is trending in the right direction, and we have gotten to know a lot of Epson [representatives] and I think they have such great ideas,” said White. “It's just going to take the Epson [Tour] and LPGA to a new level.”
Regardless of the outcomes this week, the players won’t be walking alone. Instead they will enjoy their time together thanks to the friendships forged on the fairways of the Epson Tour.