Lindsey Weaver-Wright admits to some frustration with her fluctuating fortunes on the LPGA Tour this year but the American has every reason to hope for an upturn in form next week at the Aramco Team Series New York.
Weaver-Wright finished just outside the top 10 in a tie for 11th place at the same event last year and has performed well in all four of her previous outings in the big-money series, never placing worse than a share of 22nd.
The 29-year-old confirms the impression that she relishes the unique format of the Aramco Team Series, in which players compete both in teams of four – including one amateur – and individually for a $1m prize fund five times a year.
“I’m really excited. Last year was awesome. It’s the only Aramco event that we play in the United States so for me that’s pretty cool,” Weaver-Wright tells City A.M.
“I look at these tournaments as really fun. It’s something so different. It kind of takes you back to your college days when you had team-mates, because I love that aspect of golf.
“Having the amateur in there brings a few twists too. It’s cool to join up with girls who you don’t necessarily often get to play with and actually be on the same team – it just doesn’t happen very much in golf.
“I played in quite a few already this year – this will be my third – and I played in a couple last year. It’s always fun to participate.”
Americans have thrived in the seven Aramco Team Series events to have taken place since it launched in 2021.
LPGA Tour star Nelly Korda was runner up in New York last year and in August won the Sotogrande leg of the series, succeeding as champion Weaver-Wright’s former college golf competitor Alison Lee.
Korda’s elder sibling Jessica, meanwhile, is a two-time winning captain in the team competition, having led her sides to victory in New York last year and Sotogrande two months ago.
“I’m pretty good friends with Alison, we’re often at the same events. It’s nice to have something on the schedule that’s kind of a mix,” she adds.
“And anytime you can play when it doesn’t feel like a normal job is always really fun. We always talk about how we love the team aspect of it.
“It’s more of a relaxed vibe, a lot lower stress levels for me. When you have a really good team that has good camaraderie I think it catapults you to better results for everybody in the group.”
Weaver-Wright has one professional win to her name, on the Symetra Tour, since turning professional in 2016 and came so close to adding another earlier this year at the ShopRite LPGA Classic, where she lost in play-off to an eagle from two-time major winner Brooke Henderson.
That pushed her into the top 100 of the Rolex world rankings, although she has struggled to build on that form, missing the cut in five of her nine tournaments since.
“In the summer I lost in a play-off to win, so that was a great week for me,” she says.
“Other than that it has kind of been a little lacklustre, pretty mediocre at times, but I’ve been playing a lot of golf and it’s been a really long season.
“I think with golf you battle tons of highs and lows all the time. Sometimes you feel great, sometimes you don’t. You just have to stay as even keel as possible and know that good results are always on the horizon, and you never know when your next win or breakthrough will be.
“I think what that tournament really taught me was that I can be in contention to win tournaments.”
Weaver-Wright has a perfect ally with whom to share her highs and lows in husband Zach Wright, a golf pro who has played extensively on the US second-tier Korn Ferry Tour.
“I don’t know how anybody doesn’t have that. He understands me, my game and things that I go through so well, because he experiences those things himself, so often I use him as a sounding board,” she adds.
“I think that camaraderie, and our relationship based on similar experiences in the game, our lifestyle – it’s extremely helpful to have someone so close to you who understands what you’re going through, especially when it comes to battling those highs and lows because he experiences the same things.”
One of Weaver-Wright’s more unusual highlights of 2022 came at the Chevron Championship at Mission Hills in April, when she leapt into action and shed her shoes after discovering they were crawling with venomous fire ants.
“It was more the shock, I freaked out a little bit. I think my reaction time was pretty good. I hurried up and ditched the shoes and socks right away,” she says.
“We’re not playing that tournament in Palm Springs any more so I know at that particular course I won’t be attacked by fire ants. That’s comforting for me.”
Weaver-Wright bounced back from consecutive missed cuts with a solid tie for 32nd in Arkansas last month and a top-60 in Texas at the weekend, giving her hope of recording another strong result at an Aramco Team Series event.
“I had a better week last week [Arkansas] so I’m just trying to build off that, hopefully finish the year with another top 10, some good results and go into the off-season ready to work on some things and just continue to improve,” she said.
“It would be great to come through with a win [in New York]. I haven’t had the best of finishes with my team this year so I’m hoping to have a top five finish and personally a top 10 or top five would be great.”