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Gemma Dryburgh ‘Running with the momentum’ from Japan to Florida | LPGA

Coming off a maiden LPGA win, many players would take the time to enjoy the win. But not Gemma Dryburgh. Last week, the Scotswoman became a Rolex First-Time Winner at the TOTO Japan Classic and has since made a journey of more than 14 hours to play in this week’s Pelican Women’s Championship, hosted by Konica Minolta and Raymond James. There’s no point in cooling off if you’re hot, she believes.

“Many girls have asked me, are you still going to play? I said yes, definitely, because I feel like I need to run with momentum,” Dryburgh said Wednesday. “Obviously still a little tired of the jet lag. Played nine holes yesterday and played pro-am today. Nice to see the golf course… cool course for us. But I’m looking forward to it and if it’s windy I’m sure I can handle it, hopefully it’s from Scotland.”

For Dryburgh, victory in Japan seemed to take a long time. Even before her win, the 29-year-old said this has been her best season on the LPGA Tour, but one moment in particular stands out as a turning point. Her final T5 in the 2022 Bank of Hope Match-Play presented by MGM Rewards, where she entered as the first alternate after a last-minute withdrawal, was that moment.

“Looking back, it was kind of a season-changing result, because I think it got me into the Open, the Open (Women’s AIG) and a few other things. It kind of pushed me up a lot in CME,” she said. “Obviously, earlier that week, I wasn’t even thinking about going in. I wasn’t even going to travel because it’s such a limited field that anyone is unlikely to leave, so I’m so glad I did. That probably helped me get into Asia too, that result. So maybe I wouldn’t even be in Japan if I hadn’t been to Vegas. Who knows.”

Going into his final two events of the 2022 season as a first-time winner, Dryburgh feels no different. Though she hopes it will when they call her name on the first tee when the game starts at the Pelican Golf Club.

“Some of the players said, ‘Be prepared when they announce you and say LPGA winner when they announce you on the tee.’ It’s going to give me the creeps, I think,” Dryburgh said. “I think I also get a Rolex, which is really cool. Very excited for it.”

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