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March 25, 2017

Jackie Stoelting

Carlsbad, California

Q. Thoughts on where you're sitting heading into Sunday?
JACKIE STOELTING: I feel great. I mean, I had a few hiccups at the end, but this is what I've been working on, being in this position.

Going from several missed cuts us to finally being here feels really great. I feel very positive about my game.

Q. What's been clicking in your game this week?
JACKIE STOELTING: To be honest, I've been playing really well, I just haven't been scoring. I've finally been scoring, and a lot of it has been because of my mental game.

My husband and I have really had a lot of conversations. I owe a lot actually to my clothing sponsor, Russ Ortiz, who's a Major League pitcher, or former Major League pitcher. We talked a lot last week just about playing fearless -- playing without fear and just really believing in myself. I think that's is biggest difference this week.

Q. Russ Ortiz is...
JACKIE STOELTING: Yes, my clothing sponsor.

Q. Really? How did that come about?
JACKIE STOELTING: Well, actually was with another clothing company, a lady, Sara, she had a company called Golf Her, and ended up merging with him to help design the women's line, and so I kind of just went on with him. She actually reached out to me when I was on the Big Break on Golf Channel. I was just lucky enough to tag along with her to be with him.

He's been an awesome support. The best part about his clothing company is all the net proceeds go back to charity. It's a great company to be with. I'm very fortunate to have him kind of manage my back pocket.

Q. What's it called, the company?

Q. 2GG?
JACKIE STOELTING: 2GG Apparel. Stands for second girl golf and second guy golf. You know how you hit a shot, let's just say when I was out there and hit a bad shot, you drop another ball, in a practice round hit another shot, and it's usually better. The second golfer is always better. That's kind of how he came up with the name.

Q. You're an interesting story in that you haven't won a lot of money and you're 30 years old. Late bloomer?

Q. Not a lot of by biographical information about you on the web. This is your chance to...
JACKIE STOELTING: Yeah, I played on the Symetra Tour for five years; finished third on the Money List in 2014; played out here full time 2015 and missed a ton of cuts. Only made a couple cuts and finished towards the bottom.

Really kind of stepped back and thought, Do I want to do this again? I told myself last year I'm either going to get my card through Symetra or through Q-School or quit. I got it through Symetra Tour.

For the year that, 2015, after I missed -- lost my card, I went to Symetra Tour, and from then until now I've won four times. That was the biggest difference. A lot of people say, You're 30, you're 30. But the golf ball has no clue how old I am.

Q. A lot of people say You're 30, you're 30, but the golf ball what?
JACKIE STOELTING: Doesn't know how old I am.

Q. What has kept you driving, kept you pushing?
JACKIE STOELTING: Oh, gosh. My husband has been an incredible support system. He's my caddie. He's really had a lot of belief in me. So have my parents, but I think when it comes down to it, I've come so close. Two years ago when I was so close and got my card and then I felt like a failure in a way. I really didn't want to end my career like that. I wanted to give myself one more opportunity out here.

So I'm obviously glad I did. I think just the motivation to be at the top and to be able to perform out here is exactly where I want to be.

Q. So what's it like when you make a cut at a tournament like this?
JACKIE STOELTING: Feels great. Yeah, you know, really in all honesty, two years ago I shot 4-under the first round, 4-over the second round, and missed the cut by one.

Q. Two years ago here?
JACKIE STOELTING: Yes. I'm not going to lie, yesterday I had a lot of nerves thinking, I don't want to do that again. I made a couple birdies -- actually bogeyed my second hole and made a couple birdies coming in the front nine and really settled down.

I've been in contention a lot on the Symetra Tour. Like I said, I won for times. I really just tried to use what I learned there. I did get a little nervous today. Once the TV crew were out there a little bit more I started noticing it.

It brought back a lot memories back to when I was on Big Break on Golf Channel. That really helped me settle down a little bit more, knowing that I've dealt with cameras before. It's definitely different out here. But I enjoy that feeling.

Q. What is Big Break?
JACKIE STOELTING: Okay, Golf Channel had a reality show, and what it was for me, there were 12 girls I think it was, and basically like a knock-out competition. So each episode one player is knocked out.

It's all sorts of different golf.

Q. Challenges, skills?
JACKIE STOELTING: Yeah, silly stuff. Like the first episode was breaking glass, but then usually you play golf. On my season I ended up winning it.

Q. What year was that?
JACKIE STOELTING: 2000 -- let's see, I think it aired 2014.

Q. Aired '14?

Q. Get a decent paycheck?
JACKIE STOELTING: Yeah, biggest paycheck of my life so far. I gotten exemption into ManuLife that year. That was my first I guess official LPGA event. I made the cut in that; I won $50,000 cash. I think I ended up winning $17,000 in Travelocity money, $10,000 in Avis rental car credit. And then I had also racked up some more cash on that show. I want to say maybe 25,000 more dollars.

It was absolutely life changing for me, and that next year when I got my card I was able to travel and not pay a dime to play out here.

Q. Biggest paycheck so far is on a reality TV show, but Hey, it's money, right?
JACKIE STOELTING: Last year I won a car at a tournament. I --

Q. How did you do that?
JACKIE STOELTING: Just by winning the tournament is actually --

Q. What kind of car was it?

Q. A Kia tournament?
JACKIE STOELTING: It was a Fusillo Kia up in Albany. I actually kept it. My husband is driving it because it's a stick shift and I don't know how to drive a stick shift. I'm learning.

Q. You got to drive a stick. Let's go.
JACKIE STOELTING: I know. I am learning. No, I ended up just winning the tournament, and along came with it a Kia. I think that won I won $17,500. The most I've won in a tournament is $22,500 I think.

Q. In Symetra?
JACKIE STOELTING: Yeah, and that was the next week I won.

Q. If you were to win this tournament, $270,000 plus I assume a car, okay, what would you do with 270 grand?
JACKIE STOELTING: I have no clue. Actually my husband and I just bought a townhome I will say for less than that, so...

Q. In Florida?
JACKIE STOELTING: In Florida, yeah. Just bought it in Fort Pierce, Florida. I grew up in that area.

So I'm sure a chunk of that would go towards the mortgage. I don't know. Maybe I would take my husband on a nice vacation since we never go on vacation.

I would definitely save a lot of it. My dad has definitely instilled that in me. He's an accountant.

Q. So your mother coached your high school golf team?

Q. Where did you grow up in Florida?
JACKIE STOELTING: Vero Beach, the next town up from Fort Pierce.

Q. How did you get started playing golf? Both parents play golf? Go to a local club?
JACKIE STOELTING: Yeah, both my parents played. My dad used to be a scratch golfer, and my mom is a single-digit handicap, so both really good golfers.

Had two younger brothers, and so I was four when they first put a club in I hand. I was really though a late bloomer. I played for fun. I played a lot of other things. I was on the cheerleading, did karate, played tennis.

My freshman year of high school I couldn't break 100, so shortly after that, long story short, my mom had to sit me for the state tournament. Really pushed me.

Q. I read that.
JACKIE STOELTING: So it really pushed me to not put my mom in that position and become a -- not have to have her choose. I got to earn my spot. So I did that, and that really pushed me to be a better golfer. I focused more on golf.

Really in my junior year did I think, Maybe I should go play in college, so went to D2 school. Really in college I went to school to become a school teacher. Didn't go to become an LPGA player. Didn't know back then. Pretty cool.

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