Emily Perry is quickly learning to be herself as a professional golfer.
The upbeat young Lochiel player gained her first pay cheque last weekend from the Victorian Open when she finished 50th and said a more positive approach paid dividends.
''My goal was probably more to enjoy myself - the previous past few weeks hadn't been very enjoyable,'' said Perry, who had missed the cut at the New South Wales Open and New Zealand Open prior to the her latest outing.
Working with the same affable caddie she did when playing the tournament as an amateur last year encouraged Perry to shoot rounds of 73 and 74 to comfortably make the cut, before weekend efforts of 76 and 79 saw her slip down the field but still net a cheque for $A630.
''I enjoyed my week. I was always smiling on the course, chatty - it was really good that I could be myself.
''I didn't even know what my score was half the time. I hit the ball really well - I had so many birdies. I now know that I deserve to be out there.''
Perry turned professional late last year and admitted that the transition from being a top international amateur is a tough learning experience.
''I had a good second round at the NZ Open, but I've hit some shots that I can't even describe,'' she said.
''I guess it was pressure, it was self-pressure. I need to just be myself on the golf couse instead of being all, depressing.
''I think I've realised very quickly that if you're not going to be positive, if you're not going to be yourself on the golf course, it's such a gruelling career that you won't go very far.
''So I've made some quick changes.''
Perry said she's learning to not dwell on bad shots, after developing a pull-draw off the tee that has hindered her game.
She has played the professional circuit in Australia and New Zealand after a promising display in her first attempt at cracking into the big-time at the Ladies European Tour (LET) Q School events in Morocco in December.
''I had eight rounds pretty much in a row between 70 and 74 - I just didn't have that low round that the other girls had, and I think that's just experience and confidence.''
She's having another attempt at making the LET by playing fulltime on the second-tier Access Tour in Europe, starting in May after playing a Charles Tour professional events at home.
The top five in the Access Tour Order of Merit gain their full European Tour card for 2014.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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