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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sweeney prepares for European Tour career

Jaclyn Sweeney/photo by Paul Videla, pvidela@bradenton.com

Jaclyn Sweeney's career on the Ladies European Tour is slated to begin in February in Australia.

The trip, which will include the Australian Open and Masters tournaments as well as the New Zealand Open, is just a taste of different cultures that Sweeney will encounter during the year abroad.

"I’m pretty sure it’s tomorrow and nighttime in Australia right now. So it’s going to be interesting," Sweeney said. "I played in Japan for ASU in Topy Cup, and I woke up at 3:45 each morning. So hopefully, I won’t have that same experience. But it’s going to be awesome seeing places like Morocco and Dubai and traveling all throughout Europe and seeing all the different cultures."

Despite having to go the European Tour route, due to her finish in the LPGA Tour's Q-School, Sweeney didn't get down on herself.

Instead, the short turnaround between both tour's final stage of Q-School paid dividends once she arrived in Spain.

"I only had about four hours to do that, and then take a Tylenol PM and sleep on my flight over, so I was rested for the next day," Sweeney said. "It was as (my coach David Whelan) said, week-in-and-week-out. I think that prepared me a little bit more. Because I played nine holes and then went into a five-round qualifier. It was a lot of golf in 3 1/2 weeks, and a lot of travel, but it was definitely worth it.”

Whelan, who also teaches Paula Creamer, said Sweeney's game showed vast improvement once she transferred from Oklahoma State to Arizona State.

As a Sun Devil, Sweeney had an outstanding career capped with a member of the 2009 NCAA national championship team.

All those things led to her decision to shed the amateur tag this past summer and head to Q-School, where she earned runner-up honors for a full-time playing card.

"She has the ability to be able to do what she did at Tour School, which is from a professional golfer’s standpoint, the highest level of pressure in any competition that you’ll play," Whelan said. "Hopefully, it will give her the confidence to go on and think, ‘Hey, I can do this. Even when the situation is at its toughest."

To read more about the Bradenton golfer and Pendleton School alum, check out Thursday's edition of The Bradenton Herald.

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