This week at the ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer, he’s somehow nostalgic for Marina Alex of New Jersey. In 2012 Alex made her professional debut at the Seaview hotel, A Dolce Hotel, one year before she received her LPGA Tour ticket. She just graduated from Vanderbilt University, an institution that recognized her college accomplishments by being inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2015. Now, I think she’s starting her 10th career in the “unbelievable” event.
“I have so many memories of playing this golf course,” Alex said. “I used to come here with my dad and brother randomly like in the winter months on the weekends because it’s one of the only courses that wasn’t covered in snow. So we would drive for two hours and play golf in the winter winter. Yes, I love the course Bay Course. I’ve probably played it at least 100 times.”
Alex still has vivid memories of that first championship in 2012. With her dad on the bag and pairing alongside Becky Morgan and Heather Boye Young for the first two days, Alex shot 77-66 to take the cut and eventually finished in a tie for 40th.
“My last day with Mo Martin and at that time her cans, Kyle Morrison, was the first week they were together,” Alex said. “I think Kristi Kerr was the group in front of me and Laura Davis was the group behind me. I really couldn’t believe it. I felt like, my God, you’re playing LPGA and you have all these legends and they’re great players.”
In her previous nine games at Galway, Alex has played four times on Sunday, three times in her last three games. Her best finish in the event was a third solo finish in 2018, firing three consecutive rounds in the 1960s (67-68-64) and scoring an even finish in the final holes. This season, Alex claimed her second career win at the Palos Verdes presented by Bank of America. But, after her T51 result came in at the US Women’s Open presented by ProMedica and missed a chance at the Cognizant Founders Cup, Alex said she was pleased with the local support and returning to a place that feels like home.
“You have to play a little bit of that, what I would say, connecting the style of golf where you absolutely love using the fairway lines and greens and managing the wind and moving the golf ball,” Alex said. “So I think it’s a fun three-day golf test.”