Maddie Szeryk: Up for the ChallengeWritten by David Li
Maddie Szeryk has long been considered one of Canada’s top young golf prospects. And so far in her first season as a professional, the former amateur standout is proving that she’s up for the challenge.
Szeryk had an impressive amateur and collegiate career with the Texas A&M Aggies – winning four collegiate tournaments in her four years playing with the team.
She decided to go back for a fifth year to complete her studies and just graduated earlier this year.
“It’s exciting to be able to finished that chapter and to be able to focus full-time now on golf,” said Szeryk at the Team Canada media day in June.
In May, the London, Ont., native had her best result as a pro when she scored a second place finish at the Zimmer Biomet Championship hosted by Nancy Lopez.
The Symetra Tour rookie was happy she was able to raise her level of play for the big tournament.
“It was awesome and it didn’t hurt that it was one of the biggest purses of the year so it was a great tournament to play well at,” said Szeryk of her second place finish.
“It was my first finals pairing on the Symetra Tour, so it’s great to get that experience also. I think its huge to know that I can play so well on such a big stage and to know that I can really turn it on when it counts,” she added.
Szeryk’s strong start to the 2019 Symetra season has her in contention for a spot in the top 10 on the Symetra Tour’s money list. And of course those who finish the season in the top 10 on the Symetra Tour earnings score their full LPGA Tour card for the 2020 season.
According the Tristan Mullally, head coach of the Canadian women’s national team, the second place finish at the Zimmer Biomet Championship provides just a glimpse of what Szeryk is capable of when she plays up to her potential.
“Maddie has been a top amateur in the world for the last couple of years. She was really close to getting her LPGA card last year and she wasn’t happy about not getting it – but she’s refocused and understands that this is her journey.” noted Mullally.
“Playing on the Symetra tour is great experience for Maddie because it gives her opportunity to get out there and play against other good players and cut her teeth a little bit. It allows young players to get used to life as a professional golfer. She’s showed at the Zimmer Bioment that when she plays her game she’s capable of great results,” he added.
Mullally speaks highly about Szeryk’s overall game.
“Inside 150 years she’s lethal. She’s very aggressive to tight pins has great distance control and is one of the best putters that I’ve seen when she’s on,” he pointed out.
“When you combine her great iron play with the fact that she makes her putts she scan go very low – and that’s the kind of thing you need to do be a winner on LPGA Tour.”
The 23-year-old is a fifth year member of the National Team Program – first four years on the amateur squad and now first season on young pro squad – says she’s grateful for the support she’s received over that time.
“Tristan has helped me so much with my game in terms of learning about myself and my game. And we also have physio and a mental coach and they’ve been great. We’ve been supported both on and off the golf course and that’s really helped my game a lot,” said the Texas A&M grad.
Szeryk says her top goal for 2019 is to secure her LPGA Tour card – and is up for the challenge whether that comes from finishing in the top 10 on the Symetra Tour money list or getting it through Q-school in December.
The former amateur standout will have a chance to test her game against the best on the LPGA Tour when she competes at the CP women’s Open.
“I didn’t play last year but I’ve have played the CP women’s open previously. I just love playing in the event. It’s always so much fun playing in Canada,” said Szeryk.
“The crowds are great. A lot of people say it’s like one of the majors; and for us Canadians getting that chance to play on home soil and getting all that support from fans is awesome.”