After the most stressful two weeks of her season, Maddie Szeryk and her family are returning to Canada for a relaxing Christmas break with her extended family in London, Ont.
Szeryk qualified for her second season on the top women’s golf circuit on Sunday, finished the Q-Series tied for 17th at 17-under par to earn her LPGA Tour card for 2023. The 26-year-old Szeryk said that she was ready for some well-earned down time after the gruelling eight-round event at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Alabama over two weeks.
“I’m not bringing my golf clubs, not doing any golf,” said Szeryk, who is based in Dallas. “I’ll just be reflecting on the past year and getting some rest for my mind, body and everything.
“Then in the new year I’ll start practising again and start being more intense and just ramping up the practice, making sure that I’m really ready for the new season.”
South Korea’s Hae Ran Ryu of South Korea finished first at Q-Series at 29 under and Bailey Tardy of the United States was two shots behind her to take second.
Szeryk joins Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ont., Maude-Aimee Leblanc of Sherbrooke, Que., and Hamilton’s Alena Sharp as the only Canadians that have status on the LPGA Tour for the next season.
She said the Q-Series was “gruelling” physically and mentally.
“These two weeks determine my status for the entire next year so it’s not just a normal tournament,” said Szeryk. “It’s just a different mindset as well, having eight rounds and not four.
“You just have to stay in the moment. You can have a bad hole or something, because it’s eight rounds, but you just have to move on to the next hole and everything’s fine.”
Szeryk admitted she had a hard time adjusting to the LPGA Tour in 2022, but said she found her footing at the CP Women’s Open where she tied for 26th on Aug. 25 at Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club. She made the cut three more times, including a tie for 24th at The Ascendant LPGA benefiting Volunteers of America on Sept. 29 in Irving, Texas.
“I think being comfortable out there and seeing that I am capable of having good rounds and being up at the top of the leaderboard,” said Szeryk of what she learned in her rookie season. “Just really being able to be more comfortable out there and knowing the whole routine of it, because it is very overwhelming at first.
“I think that after having that breakthrough at the Canadian Open, it was like, ‘O.K. this is possible.'”
Szeryk said she has not yet selected her first tournament of the new season.
John Chidley-Hill/The Canadian Press