27 Oct 2021 | Professional golf |

How Davidson passed 'gruelling' test

by Dane Heverin

Karis Davidson teeing off.

Karis Davidson has revealed how sticking to simple plans helped her to handle the intense pressure of Stage II of the LPGA Tour’s Qualifying School earlier this week. 

In a fascinating interview on Inside The Ropes, the 23-year-old Queenslander - who has played professionally in Japan since 2018 - discussed the mentally taxing nature of the event. 

“It was just really mentally tiring. I’ve only done one before in Japan and it’s just so exhausting because every shot means everything really,” she said.

“You just have to commit to every shot. You have to commit 100% and it’s very gruelling, but it’s also very rewarding because I made it through.”

Davidson advanced to the LPGA Tour’s Q-Series - a two-week cumulative tournament where the top-45 players are granted LPGA Tour status for 2022 - and has therefore become the latest Australian professional golfer to make the American move.

Her success came off the back of a simple, but effective, plan that is often ignored by many golfers.

“My plan for the week was to not go for any par-5s in two and if there were no hazards or anything in front of the green I probably would have, but a couple of the holes there was water there and it’s really just not worth the risk,” she said.

“You might as well lay up. Pars are good at Q-School and if you get a birdie it’s a bonus.”

Her plan of not always hunting birdies allowed Davidson to find the right balance between attacking the flag and finding the centre of the green.

“Definitely aiming for the middle of the greens. I was picking some bushes in the background and aiming for that. Just get it on the green and make a two putt and onto the next,” she said.

“You get a certain amount of holes where you can be like ‘right, green light here and try to get it a bit closer’. It was sort of a strategy to be smart enough to go ‘right, on this hole I’m going to aim for the middle of the green and yep, on this hole I’m going to lay up’.”

Although it may not sound like it, Davidson is a firm believer in mixing it up and trying different things to keep her game fresh - but she is careful in choosing when to bring out her bag of tricks.

“I’ve definitely gotten into a bit more shaping in recent years. In my opinion you’ve got to get a bit creative with the golf ball otherwise it can get a bit boring,” she said with a laugh.

The LPGA Tour hopeful has based herself in the Golf Australia house in Orlando, Florida recently as she settles into the area before finding her new home.

“It just feels safe. It’s quite accessible - you can drive a couple of hours to the beach and a few of my friends - golfers - live here,” she said.

In the meantime, she has roughly another month before Q-Series so she is taking a short break in Scotland - the country of her birth - to spend time with family.

Then, she will get back to work with her caddy and good friend Holly Clyburn, and Golf Australia sport science and sport medicine co-ordinator Luke Mackey, joining her at Q-Series.

Listen to the full interview

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