One of England's brightest young golfers, Meghan MacLaren, may have had a big setback, but in her latest column for Women & Golf she explains why it won't be stopping her.
For large parts of 2016, things went the way I intended including graduation from Florida International University. Victories in the Curtis Cup and winning the European Championships with England were without doubt the biggest achievements of my entire amateur career.
But the path to success is rarely a straight line, and there were low points in 2016 too. I didn’t advance through the first stage of LPGA Q School, which was pretty crushing considering my whole 2017 plan centered on that.
Winning a pro event on the LETAS was huge. That, and gathering the right team around me was the reminder I needed that it is possible to compete at a high level while still being aware of the improvements needed to push on. I’m happy and excited with my decision to turn pro... although my family still aren’t too amused that I couldn’t decide that in time to take home my £5,000 cheque from Spain!
There are definitely worse places to kick off your professional career than in Dubai! Being around some of the best players in the world was incredibly motivating, which was in part what made missing the cut so disappointing. I had a 10-footer for birdie on the last, and even though I was out early I knew it was inevitable that if I holed it I would miss the cut by one. Welcome to the professional world...
There is a bigger picture than golf though and before the tournament started I visited a local school to share what I have learnt with kids who are dreaming of a similar lifestyle. That week was also when caddie Max Zechmann sadly passed away after collapsing on the course. Credit to the LET for handling it with empathy and professionalism.
After Dubai I went to Morocco for the final stage of LET Q School. I finished in 34th position after rounds of 73, 67, 73,75 and 72, two shots off getting my full card. My preparation was good and I played pretty well, but I had my sights set on the top of the leaderboard after my second round, so to not even end up in the top 30 was extremely disappointing. The intensity of Q School is almost surreal, and the margins are fine.
The above is an extract from Meghan's column in the latest issue of Women & Golf magazine, on sale now. Never miss an issue click here to subscribe and enjoy W&G delivered to your door.