Seventeen-year-old amateur Bailey Shoemaker is no stranger to competitive environments. Her experience in AJGA events, U.S. Women’s Amateur and Q-School, has given her the tools to use this week at the Florida’s Natural Charity Classic as she adds to her resume. Seeing how the other women and girls handled themselves at Q-school showed her that she can be competitive at some of the highest levels.
“I had just come off the (U.S. Women’s) Am (when I got to Q-School) so that was really fun,” Shoemaker said. “I had a lot of confidence going into Palm Springs and I never really felt any pressure because we were doing it for fun. It didn’t matter how far I made it; I was just hoping to get some Epson status… I feel like it was pretty carefree out there — not too much stress.”
Shoemaker went for the experience. She got what she needed out of it to trust her game. The current No. 5 player in the Rolex AJGA Rankings took the confidence she gained on the junior golf circuit and channeled it through Stage II of LPGA Q-School. Shoemaker saw that a lot of the best college players were competing. That not only gave her more confidence but also made her more excited for her next chapter.
“It really made me excited for college golf especially, and a future on the LPGA and Epson Tour. Everybody is so happy to be there in general, regardless of how they played,” Shoemaker said. “Everybody still has the same mindset and the same goals of trying to make it on Tour. You just feel it there, a little bit more than anywhere (else) I’ve felt it. It’s on a different level.”