facebooktwitterRSS
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
 

« News Home

'99 champion likes change, says she's in comfort zone



Published: Wed, July 25, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.


The past winner has relatives in the Akron and Pittsburgh areas.
By BRIAN RICHESSON
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
VIENNA -- Jackie Gallagher-Smith comes to the Giant Eagle LPGA Classic confident about her game.
"I feel pretty good, even though we've switched courses every year," she laughed.
Gallagher-Smith won this tournament in 1999 at Avalon Lakes Golf Course, which was redesigned for the 2000 event. Now, it has moved to Squaw Creek Country Club.
"It's a good little golf course," said Gallagher-Smith, after her first 18-hole round on the course Tuesday. "It's in great shape and the greens are pretty big."
What's ahead: Interestingly, Gallagher-Smith compared Squaw Creek to the old Avalon Lakes, the layout on which she won.
Could this be a sign of things to come for the Jupiter, Fla., resident this weekend?
"I felt pretty comfortable out there," she said of her practice round. "It wasn't that I saw too many holes that I was like, 'OK, what am I going to do here?' It was pretty straightforward.
"There's a couple of really good driving holes out there," she said. "Just hitting your irons the right distance will be important."
Gallagher-Smith will get a better feel for Squaw Creek in the next couple of days. She hopes to develop a comfort level on the greens, some of which can become difficult by landing the ball above the hole, forcing a tough putt back.
As for the move from Avalon Lakes, Gallagher-Smith isn't worrying much.
"We played the other one so new that I don't know what it's like right now," she said of Avalon's redesign. "I'm sure it's grown a lot over the year; I'm sure it's very nice. You just have your routine -- go get a feel for the course and go play."
That's exactly what Gallagher-Smith has been doing. She recently played a streak of six straight tournaments before taking time off.
"I've been hitting it really well," said Gallagher-Smith, who's had four top-15 finishes in 2001, including fifth at The Office Depot early this season. "I had a couple of weeks off, so last week I was just getting into the swing of it."
Performance: Gallagher-Smith tied for 27th at last week's Big Apple Classic, shooting 3-under par in the final round.
"That was a positive coming into this week," she said of her finish.
Returning to the Mahoning Valley is always special for Gallagher-Smith. Not only is it the site of her first and only LPGA victory, but she also has family in the region -- her parents live in Indiana, and she has other relatives in the Akron and Pittsburgh areas.
"I look forward to it. I have relatives around, and I get some fan support," she said. "They know who I am a little bit more than most places, and it's nice having people rooting you on."
Living in private housing for this tournament is also a benefit, making Gallagher-Smith's stay relaxing.
"Everyone takes care of me here, so you can't help getting into a good frame of mind," she said.
So, will the positive attitude and recent good play pay off for Gallagher-Smith at the Giant Eagle LPGA Classic again?
"Week to week I'm starting to see that [hard work] pay off," she said. "One of these weeks, everything's going to fall into place. Hopefully, that will be this week."


Don't Miss a Story

Sign up for our newsletter to receive daily news directly in your inbox.

News
Opinion
Entertainment
Sports
Services
Classifieds
Records
Discussions
Community
Help
Forms
Neighbors

HomeTerms of UsePrivacy StatementAdvertiseStaff DirectoryHelp
© 2016 Vindy.com. All rights reserved. A service of The Vindicator.
107 Vindicator Square. Youngstown, OH 44503

Phone Main: 330.747.1471 • Interactive Advertising: 330.740.2955 • Classified Advertising: 330.746.6565
Sponsored Links: Vindy Wheels | Vindy Jobs | Vindy Homes