Shoomee picks up major experience

May. 30, 2013 @ 09:53 PM

Thursday and U.S. Women’s Open qualifying provided a number of firsts for Sanford teenager and Lee County student-athlete Siranon Shoomee.

For starters, U.S. Open sectional qualifying was a first. It was also Shoomee’s first time playing 36 holes in a day. So if the pressure and playing with and versus a field made up largely of professionals, elite college players and tournament-proven amateurs wasn’t enough, grinding through a 10-hour warm and humid day on the course added to the test.

Shoomee shot rounds of 84 and 85 on the day, which put her in the middle of the pack for the entire field. Only three direct spots and two alternate spots were awarded though and Shoomee was well back of continuing on to the U.S. Women’s Open in Southampton, N.Y. late next month.

“It’s my biggest tournament I’ve played in by far,” Shoomee said.

Shoomee is taking a trip to Thailand next month. She said she’ll return to getting on the course as much as possible when she gets back from Thailand.

“When I get back, I’m going to work a lot harder and I’ll probably be back (in a U.S. Open qualifier) next year,” she said.

Carolina Trace Country Club is Shoomee’s home course, although even that didn’t truly give her a home course advantage.

For one, Shoomee said she plays the Creek Course much more often. Second, she doesn’t play from the back tees. The Lake Course was stretched to just under 6,500 yards, between the lengths of the men’s blue and black tees.

“It was a big difference. The yards were a lot longer. The course was a lot tougher,” Shoomee said. “The greens were a lot faster than anywhere we play in high school.

“To play with pros was a good experience,” she said. Shoomee played her two rounds with pro Shasta Averyhardt and Vanderbilt’s Kendall Martindale.

“It was good to see how they play, how they swing and try to learn from it,” she said.

So while her first crack at a U.S. Open didn’t go as planned on the scorecard, Shoomee expects to have plenty more to come and she’s already looking forward to next year.