Mel Reid has a bit of previous with the LPGA Q School. Four years ago she missed the cut and last year she (and her team) missed the deadline to apply.
This time around the 29-year-old arrived at Daytona Beach at a bit of a crossroads. Reid turned pro in 2007 amid plenty
of fanfare and, while there have been the five wins and Solheim Cup successes, there have been obvious tough times – Reid’s mother, Joy, was killed in a car crash in Germany in 2012 while out watching her daughter play.
Now it felt like time for a change. “If I’m being completely honest, I feel quite stale in Europe,” Reid said. “I’ve had a rough two or three years. I now feel ready to compete on the LPGA. I feel like I want to be out here, I want to be living in America. I feel like for the first time I really want this. This is the goal of the year.”
Reid shot 64 on day two to lead the tournament. And then got struck with flu the following day. Thankfully there was a happy ending as Reid came through comfortably to secure one of the 20 golden tickets.
She can now kick-start her career on the other side of the Atlantic, play in more regular events and, if things go to plan, earn some decent money.
To give you some idea of the gulf in prize money Reid finished in 20th place on the LET money list to earn £58,000. The player in 20th spot on the LPGA picked up over £600,000. Equally as worrying, Reid only played in 10 events in 2016.
How do we stop our best players switching tours? We can’t and we don’t. We just wish them well, hope they don’t pick up the accent and look forward to their brief appearances back in Europe.
So good luck Mel and a huge well done from all of us.