I almost quit: Ellis
By ADAM HICKS email@example.com CASINO professional golfer Michelle Ellis will tee off today in the opening round of the Australian Women’s Open just months after nearly quitting the sport.
Speaking from Melbourne, Ellis revealed that two years of struggling to overcome a rib injury had affected her confidence and compromised her swing to the point of extreme frustration.
However, in a last-ditch effort to turn around an unhappy form slump, Ellis spent a week training in Phoenix with the same sports psychologist and swing coach used by former world No.1 Annika Sorenstam.
“It has taken me a long time to get over my rib injury confidence wise,” Ellis told The Northern Star.
“To be quite honest, I didn’t know whether I was going to play any more; just practising was getting quite tough.
“We didn’t do a hell of a lot with swing changes. We just played a lot of golf, went back to basics and I was going out enjoying golf again.
“We took out a lot of the technicalities of the sport and just got out there and played.
“I’m looking forward to this year now, but if I didn’t go and see them I don’t know if I’d still be playing.”
Ellis said the sports psychologist taught her different ways to approach competition.
“I learned different ways to accept different situations and how to have a good playing focus before going out on to the course and sticking to it,” she said.
“Like going out with one goal, it may be that I don’t want any three putts, or I don’t want to react with any temperament.
“I sort of got away from that. I got so mixed up with trying to get my swing back, it got to the point where I didn’t want to practise any more.
“But after finishing with them, I couldn’t wait to play golf again.”
Ellis’ sister Sharon has travelled to Melbourne to caddie for the four-day tournament.
Following the Open, Ellis will head to the Gold Coast for the Australian Ladies Masters next week before returning to the US for the lucrative LPGA tour.
This year will also see Ellis adapt to an administrative role after being elected to the Players’ Executive Committee.
“This is my first year. I don’t know wholly and solely what it involves but there’s a lot of decisions to make,” she said.
“This is also the first year of drug-testing on the tour. We’re the first tour to do it.
“It is a lot more stringent than what a lot of players expected.”