At the end of perhaps the most gruelling of qualifying tournaments, Canadian Maddie Szeryk achieved a life-long dream: she is now a full-fledged LPGA Tour member.
“It feels so good to have my card,” said Szeryk. “It doesn’t really feel real yet!”
A dual-citizen, Szeryk (who has family in London, Ont. but is based in Dallas, Texas and was part of Team Canada) played on the Symetra Tour in 2019 and 2020 after a celebrated career at Texas A&M. She won multiple times while in college and turned professional in 2018.
She really broke through, however, just as the COVID-19 pandemic began to impact everything globally.
Still, Szeryk persevered.
After struggling on the Symetra Tour in 2021 she re-committed herself to improving her short game and had a renewed perspective as she headed into the LPGA Tour’s eight-round(!) Final Stage of Q-Series
“I was just thankful to be there in the first place since a lot of players didn’t have that opportunity,” said Szeryk. “I just tried to play my game and stay patient.”
Szeryk opened with a 68 and was firmly in the mix to earn a LPGA Tour card. She followed that up with rounds of 71-72-74 but was on the outside-looking-in after the first four-round effort.
The 25-year-old said staying patient was the key for her during the Qualifying Tournament.
Only the top-45 on the leaderboard at the end of the eight rounds would earn LPGA Tour status for the following season.
“I didn’t really have any not-great rounds. I played steady and kept myself in there,” said Szeryk. “The first week was like, ‘OK, first round down, seven more to go.’ But the second week went by really fast. I was like, ‘Here we go again!’”
Szeryk didn’t budge much on the leaderboard through the first three rounds of the second week of Q-Series, but she matched her opening round 4-under 68 in the finale – which saw her jump up the leaderboard to 35th.
She cleared the magic number to earn LPGA Tour status with room to spare – after birding her final two holes – and officially earned an LPGA Tour card for the first time.
“I knew I needed a good round (in the final round) but I had hit it really well the whole time I just hadn’t made any putts,” said Szeryk. “I knew I was due to make a few putts. I was close a lot and I just tried to stay patient and put it all in perspective.”
Szeryk, who spent the holiday season at home in London (where she said she just hit balls a few times indoors) is now preparing to head back to Dallas and get ready for the upcoming season.
She, Quebec’s Maude Aimee LeBlanc, and Golf Town Athlete Brooke Henderson will make up the Canadian contingent on the LPGA Tour in 2022.
Szeryk said she doesn’t yet have a ton of information about how the 2022 campaign on the LPGA Tour is going to unfold – although she has a big circle around the CP Women’s Open already – so she’s just enjoying the fact that she’s achieved a life-long dream.
Her game, meanwhile, feels great. Szeryk was hitting it well, she said, through the latter part of 2021 and continues to give herself more chances to score. Now she’s hoping all the work she’s put in with her putting (“That’s everything,” she said) will translate to a solid start on the greens in 2022.
But regardless of what happens in 2022, she knows she’s done something special.
“It’s so crazy. I’ve got to play a few LPGA events, but now I’m out there as an LPGA member,” said Szeryk. “I’ve been working for this my whole life and it’s really awesome to be like, ‘I’m here and I’m on the LPGA’ and no one can take that away from me.”