By Rick Palsgrove
Former Groveport Madison Cruiser golfer Kasey Petty has qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open as an amateur.
Petty, who graduated from Groveport Madison High School in 2012 and just recently from the University of Findlay with a degree in early childhood education, qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open by winning the qualifying tournament in May at Westwood Country Club in St. Louis. The U.S. Women’s Open will be held at CordeValle in San Martin, Calif., on July 7-10.
Though she qualified to compete in the U.S. Women’s Open as an amateur, Petty has bigger plans than that.
“I plan on turning professional before the Open,” said Petty. “I want to join the LPGA because then I can get sponsors and qualify for prize money. I hope to eventually join the pro tour. I’ll see how I do at the Open and then go to qualifying school in August.”
Petty said she was torn between immediately pursuing a teaching career or becoming a pro golfer.
“I liked my student teaching experience, but I’m playing well,” said Petty. “I think it would be a wasted opportunity to not try to become a professional golfer. I don’t want to look back years later and regret not going for it.”
Petty excelled as a golfer at Groveport Madison High School and at the University of Findlay. She finished second at the NCAA Division II championship in May and also tied for first place (but lost in a playoff) at her college’s conference tournament this past season. She has also earned All-American honorable mention honors during her college golf career.
Petty is confident she can do well at the U.S. Women’s Open.
“I have high expectations and goals,” said Petty. “I feel I can win whenever I step on a golf course. At the qualifier, there were a lot of big name players from around the country and it was a bit intimidating at first. But I played, posted my scores, and thought, ‘Let’s see what happens. What is there to lose?’ I played and had fun. If the putts are dropping, that’s good. If they aren’t, well, that’s golf.”
Now that she’s bested some big time college players at the qualifier, she’s ready to face the pros at the U.S. Women’s Open.
“I have to stay focused,” said Petty. “It will be exciting to be playing against pros like Michelle Wie and Paula Creamer. It’s crazy to think I’ll be there at the Open. I’ll approach it like any other tournament. I’ll practice and prepare like I always do.”
She said the course at the U.S. Women’s Open is longer than what she is used to.
“CordeValle is around 6,700 yards and I’m used to playing courses that are 5,800 to 6,400 yards,” said Petty. “I’ll practice and get used to hitting with woods instead of irons. I also expect the greens there to be difficult.”
Petty said her golf game is going well right now.
“My driving is strong. It’s long and straight off the tee. I usually don’t get into any trouble there,” said Petty. “The last few weeks my putting has come together. I just have to concentrate on having a good putting stroke. I joked with my coach that, as soon as my putting gets hot, then watch out!”
Petty took up golf in high school for the fun of it.
“Golf is a sport where you can have a bad round, but then have a good round or hit a miracle shot and that makes you want to do it again. Good play keeps you coming back. It can be a frustrating game, but overall it’s a fun sport to play.”