Paige Mackenzie’s Bizarre Week Leads to a Great Weekend
By Stephanie Wei under General

[Paige Mackenzie practices at Priddis Greens in Alberta, Canada, on Tuesday.]

The pieces finally fell together for Paige Mackenzie last week. She shot a total 9-under and finished T8 at the LPGA Safeway Classic in Portland, Oregon. In the final round she carded a 66, the second-lowest round of the day behind champion M.J. Hur.

On Tuesday evening Paige said, “It’s about time. «laughing» I’ve been playing very well and I didn’t feel like my scores were representative of that. Statistically I’m in a better place than my standing on the money list.”

It’s true — she is ranked 14th for Greens in Regulation and T23 for Driving Distance. In the first two rounds last week, she only missed three greens and two fairways total.

Now her scores are starting to reflect her solid play.

In the seven-week hiatus between tournaments, Paige had been working hard on her game, especially her putting. She said, “It was difficult to not get results, so it was good to see the hard work pay off last week. I knew I had to be patient because I was playing well. I was excited going into the tournament and for the next few weeks.”

After the second round at Safeway, she spent some time on the practice green to figure out what she was doing wrong. She found her stroke and the putts started to drop in the final round.

But the days leading up to the tournament were a little bizarre for Paige. She was supposed to stay with a friend in Portland. As it happened, her friend had the hardwood floors in her house redone, which made it uninhabitable because of the fumes. The friend stayed in a tent outside her home and invited Paige to camp out as well. She decided to take a pass and crashed with Anna Grzebien’s host family for two nights and slept on the top bunk of a bunk bed. Yes, grade school slumber party style!

Her week got even more interesting. She had been visiting her parents in Yakima, WA, and drove their car down to Portland. On Monday morning she rolled the windows down because it was dewy. Well, the back two wouldn’t roll back up. So, for the rest of the time she drove with the windows down.

The random mishaps continue this week. She flew from Portland to Calgary on Sunday night and the airline lost her luggage (along with many of the other players’). She went shopping on Monday afternoon and decided to buy a dress because, well, she didn’t want to purchase golf clothes. So, the following day she showed up to the golf course and practiced/played in it (see picture above).

Perhaps these minor strokes of bad luck are actually fortuitous for Paige’s performance on the links. One thing is for sure — she’s taking the boost of confidence and momentum from the Safeway Classic to the Canadian Open, which starts tomorrow. Look out for more solid results from her this week and for the remainder of the season.

[Photo by Ray Kim]