This month we’re highlighting Brooke Seay. Brooke, who will turn 17 at the end of the month, won the 2017 ANNIKA Invitational USA earlier this year in a playoff over Sweden’s Amanda Linner. The Californian’s first AJGA Invitational win earned her a spot in the Symetra Tour season opener Florida’s Natural Charity Classic where she tied for 29th. Seay will be heading to Des Moines in a couple weeks to represent Team USA in the PING Junior Solheim Cup.
We caught up with Brooke a week after the U.S. Women’s Open, where she made the cut. Here’s what she had to say about her life on and off the course.
Q: Who is your favorite golfer?
A: Sandra Gal
Q: What is your favorite holiday?
Q: What is your favorite song?
A: Holiday by Green Day
Q: If you could only have one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
A: Chicken enchiladas with beans, rice and salad.
Q: Who is your biggest role model and why?
A: Olympic figure skater, Yulia Lipnitskaya. I admire her work ethic, competitive fire, but mostly her ability to persevere through failure and fight back.
Q: Why did you start playing golf?
A: My parents signed me up for golf summer camps when I was little and I really enjoyed it, so I gradually started playing more and more.
Q: How did it feel to play in this year’s U.S. Women’s Open and make it through to the weekend? What was your favorite part of the week?
A: I was beyond excited just to be there. From playing alongside my idols, to testing my game on a challenging course on golf’s grandest stage with my family watching me amongst the crowds. I was just trying to soak in every moment. Making the cut (although I hoped to) was not necessary in making the week special; it was merely the icing on the cake. The best part of the week was my last practice round. I was paired with one of my good friends from junior golf, Rachel Heck, the previous week’s winner, Katherine Kirk, and Sandra Gal, whom I’ve always looked up to on the LPGA. After we teed off on the first hole, Sandra asked us if we wanted to play a match. So for the rest of the practice round, Rachel and I played best ball match play against the two professionals. Both of them graciously shared their experiences and advice with us. I am very grateful for their efforts to make us feel comfortable and welcome, contributing to an unforgettable week.
Q: Favorite tournament you’ve played in so far and why?
A: This year’s Wyndham Cup was by far my favorite tournament, and possibly the best week of my life. The spirited team competition gave me the opportunity to bond with players who are normally my opponents. I will never forget the feeling of my teammates cheering me on to win the final hole of my match. I’ve never had so much fun on the golf course.
Q: Congratulations on making the U.S. PING Junior Solheim Cup Team. Besides winning, what else do you hope to get out of the week? What are you most excited for?
A: I am most excited for the team aspect of the week, which isn’t common in golf. I look forward to meeting the players on the other team from across the world, as well as further developing my friendships on the U.S. Team. I can’t wait to represent the United States as I play my heart out with some of my best friends.
Q: If you could share the most important piece of advice you’ve ever received with other aspiring female golfers, what would it be?
A: Believe in yourself. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but I’ve only recently begun taking this to heart. Golf is a frustrating sport and it is so easy to get down on yourself, but mental attitude is key to recovering from a bad shot, hole, or round. Before realizing this, I found myself often not committing to my shots for fear of executing them poorly, but now I know that you cannot produce good shots unless you visualize and believe in them first. Sometimes that order is reversed, but self-confidence has to come first.
Q: Do you have any plans yet for after you graduate high school? If so, what are they?
A: I aspire to play at the collegiate level, but beyond college I am unsure of my career path.
Q: What is your greatest golf memory so far?
A: Other than qualifying for the U.S. Women’s Open, my favorite golf moment was sinking a 30-foot putt on the second hole of a playoff to win the ANNIKA Invitational, in front of Annika Sörenstam herself, one of the greatest female golfers of all time.
Q: What do you like to do with your free time outside of golf?
A: I like to rollerblade, bike, hike and spend time with my family and friends.
When Brooke isn’t biking or spending time with family and friends, she is dominating on the golf course. The 2016 Rolex Junior All-American has competed in the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship for four consecutive years. At the end of the interview, we asked Brooke if she had any other advice to share with young golfers; “Enjoy it,” she said. “I’ve learned you play better and work harder if you’re having fun.” Good luck at the PING Junior Solheim Cup and thanks for being this month’s featured player!