Tubert trying to master learning curve as LPGA rookie

In the wake of a series of setbacks, Emily Tubert is determined to maintain a positive attitude.

Her rookie season on the LPGA Tour has not exactly gone smoothly, as the Burroughs High graduate admits she has not played up to her expectations.

A recent injury forced Tubert to take time off of competition. Then came a reshuffle with her support staff in which she got rid of her swing coach and her caddy in an attempt to change her fortunes.

“Making those changes is something that I had to do,” said Tubert, 25, a former CIF Southern Section champion and Burbank Leader Girls’ Athlete of the Year who was an All-American at the University of Arkansas. “It’s been tough for sure.

“Everybody on the tour is good and you have to play well. It’s not that I don’t think I can be successful at this level, but it’s just a big learning curve and there are things that I am learning and working on and I just have to keep at it and try and stay as positive as I can.”

Tubert began her rookie campaign with promise April 12, qualifying for championship play in her first tournament. Taking part in the Lotte Championship at the Ko Olina Golf Club in Kapolei, Oahu, Hawaii, Tubert made the cut and finished in a seven-way tie for 53rd. She fired rounds of 71, 71, 74 and 68 for a total of four-under-par 284. Her best day came in the final round when she had six birdies and two bogies over 18 holes.

However, that would be Tubert’s best finish in the seven tournaments she’s taken part in. She didn’t participate in this past week’s LPGA event, the U.S. Women’s Open.

A week after her Hawaiian debut in the LPGA Kingsmill Championship in Williamsburg, Va. on May 18, Tubert made her second cut and finished 72nd with a four-day total of 297.

But late in May, Tubert’s promising start was derailed after she dislocated her shoulder in what she described as a “freak accident” waking up in her bed one morning.

“It was pretty discouraging, because I made the first two cuts in the first two events I played in, then I dislocated my shoulder,” Tubert said. “Then I slipped off the next week while I was still dealing with the injury and I didn’t play very well having not hit all week and that was rough.

“It was the next week that I didn’t play very well and I let my caddy go and then I went to another tournament and I still wasn’t playing well and I let my coach go. It’s really hard to change things up and go out and perform like you want to.”

Tubert received treatment for her injury from the LPGA medical staff and later took some time off to come home and play at her home course of De Bell Golf Club.

“I have continued to rehab my shoulder and I kind of lived in the LPGA medical trailer they have on tour just trying to get as much treatment as I could,” Tubert said. “One good thing was that while I was getting treatment, I was able to meet a lot of golfers who also came in for treatment. I know a lot of players on the LPGA Tour, but I was able to get to know some better and I got to hang out with some great players.”

Tubert still has time to turn around what has been a disappointing rookie season for her. There are still a number of tournaments on the 2017 schedule, which concludes in late November.

“I feel that I’m close to doing what I expect of myself out there,” Tubert said. “I feel very comfortable out there and I know I belong. I just need to put it all together.

“In that first tournament in Hawaii, at the time I wasn’t really happy with where my game was at. ...Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in your own drama and your own issues and I just made myself take a second and just realize, ‘Hey, this is the dream, right? This is what you dreamed of as a kid, to play professional golf?’ I know sometimes you can lose sight of that or take that for granted, and I want to make sure I don’t do that.”

Twitter: @jefftsports

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