Mel Reid’s decision to move to US pays off with first LPGA Tour title

Mel Reid was relieved and delighted that her “huge sacrifice” in moving to the US was justified as she celebrated her maiden LPGA Tour title in New Jersey.

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Reid atoned for her disappointing finish in Portland last week as she clinched a two-shot win over Jennifer Kupcho at the ShopRite LPGA Classic, firing a final-round 67 to set a new tournament scoring record at 19 under par.

The 33-year-old also led going into the final round last week only to stumble to a closing 74 which left her two behind champion and compatriot Georgia Hall, but she learned from those mistakes and believes the work she has been doing with sports psychologist Howard Falco paid off at Seaview.

“I wanted to put things right from Portland,” said Reid, a six-time winner on the Ladies European Tour. “I just felt like I handled things a lot better today than I did the final round in Portland, so just absolutely made up to be holding the trophy.

“People have been talking about my talent for a long time but I’ve just never really got anywhere close to where I thought I would be. Since I’ve worked with my psychologist I think something has shifted in my mindset, which is quite obvious in the last three or four weeks.

“I’m very, very happy the way my team is all moulded together, and just feeling pretty good about life right now, to be honest with you.”

Reid also showered praise on the calming influence of her caddie, Ryan “Dez” Desveaux, adding: “He’s become one of my best friends honestly. We only started working together this year, and I want to give him as much credit as possible. I could not have gone through as easy as I have done without him on the bag.

“I’m just absolutely delighted and proud that he’s with me the whole way. He doesn’t change whether I make a bogey or birdie, which I think is good for me. His emotions don’t change at all. Just a great dude, and he’s like a brother to me now. I love him it death and he deserves all the credit.

“He’s an unbelievable caddie and I’m very lucky to have him on the bag.”

Reid made the decision to relocate to the US to advance her career, playing against stellar fields regularly on the LPGA Tour, and she is relieved that the move has been vindicated by her excellent run of results in recent weeks.

“No matter what life throws at you it depends how you handle it,” said Reid. “I made a huge sacrifice moving to America, leaving my comfort zone, my friends and my family, and it’s paid off. You know, I wanted to be a world class athlete, I always wanted to be a world class athlete, and to finally get the job done is a huge sigh of relief.

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“People can’t take away the fact that I’m an LPGA winner against a world-class field. It just goes to show you just got to keep going. Things will get tough, and I will have tough years as well ahead of me. As long as you just keep your head down and doing the right things, good things will happen to good people.”

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