Bulldogs’ success pushes Jessica Peng to improve | LPGA

Not only does college golf provide opportunities for players to improve, it also creates lifelong friendships, indestructible bonds rooted in the shared routine of morning practice sessions and grueling days of 36-hole tournaments. But your teammates also push you to improve and for Jessica Peng (Taoyuan, Chinese Taipei), fellow Mississippi State Bulldog and LPGA pro, Ally Ewing is that inspiration.

“I would say she’s the one that keeps me very competitive because she’s always on top,” said Peng. “I watch her every year [at Taiwan Swinging Skirts] when she plays. Sometimes I think I hit a good shot and she hits it even closer. Or I birdie and she birdie too, or maybe even an eagle. It’s like her status, everything, she’s just better. I want to beat her so badly. I’ll say it out loud. Ally, I want to beat you so badly.

Peng is an accomplished player in her own right, competing mainly in the China LPGA and Taiwan LPGA tours. She landed a second place finish at the CTBC Invitational on the TLPGA last month and in 2018 Peng performed on the Korean LPGA Tour, appearing on the reality show Cinderella Story of KLPGA. With the COVID-19 pandemic halting international travel in 2020, the 28-year-old did not visit the United States until early July 2021 and stayed with friends in Irvine, Calif., For s ” train before LPGA qualifying. Phase I of the tournament.

” I played [full-time] on CLPGA and TLPGA, and I was on one of the reality shows, so I got to play about 10 events at KLPGA in 2018, ”Peng said of his competition schedule. “It was COVID, so I was in Taiwan last year. I just decided I had to go out and play. I was at a friend’s house, practiced there for about three weeks, then got an Airbnb in Palm Springs and stayed there for a whole month because of my visa. I can’t stay longer than 90 days so I had to go home after stage I and do a 14 day quarantine and fly back here. After I got on the plane back here, the first five days, I was just lying in bed. I didn’t want to do anything.

His golf game showed no sign of that discomfort with scores of 70-71-67 in three rounds, originating in Chinese Taipei. Peng’s play on Saturday was highlighted by a holed eagle on Panther Course third, a shot she begged not to hit the pin.

“The distance was between the clubs, but I’d rather stay short than go far and have a downhill putt, especially with the greens pretty quick today,” said Peng. “Somehow, actually, I just carried the pin like a dead man. I saw the bullet was towards the pin and I was like, “Please don’t hit the pin. Usually when I push the pin it pops out of the green. It was the only thing I was hoping for, please don’t touch the pin. I think so [landed] Like two yards behind the pin and I was like, ‘Okay, that wasn’t bad.’ People were just like, “Whoa, you made it.” I was like, ‘Wait, did I hit short or passed?’ I wasn’t really sure. And it just came in. I was like, ‘Wait, whoa, what just happened?’ I was not expecting it at all. “

As Peng sets her sights on Sunday at the Plantation Golf & Country Club, she seeks to keep her nerves in check, a sentiment common to all competitors this week. She is also grateful that her time in Venice was much less nerve-racking than Stage I.

“I just want to finish in the top 45 and get over it this week,” she said. “Obviously, like in stage I, I was stressed. Probably the most stressful week I have ever had. This week is actually not that bad I think because there are more people I know around. It helps a bit. I think I’ve had a pretty good week, so go with the flow, finish in the top 45, so I’m good. My mindset was to stay calm and play one move at a time, not to think about the outcome and do what I needed at the time instead of overthinking.

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