Lakota West Alumn Marissa Steen (’08) kicked off her second season in the LPGA on Thursday in the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic in Paradise Island, Bahamas.
The Pure Silk tournament is the start of Steen’s 6th professional season since graduating from Memphis in 2012 where she was a four-time NCAA All-American Scholar and two time all-conference (C-USA) honoree. Steen worked her way up through the Symetra Tour following college before earning the Symetra Tour Player of the Year in 2014 and earning her first LPGA Tour Card.
Unfortunately, Steen caught the flu bug shortly before the start of the 2015 LPGA season. The endless coughing resulted in some pain in her rib region. After competing in her first three LPGA events in extreme pain, she visited the LPGA medical director and after x-rays found she had actually cracked three of her ribs. The ribs had healed by May, but Steen struggled getting her swing back into form. She returned to the Symetra Tour in 2016 finishing eighth on the money list earning back her LPGA Tour Card for 2017.
“I feel great heading into this season. I am injury free and feeling well rested after the offseason. Ready to get back to competing!” Steen told Westfirebirds.com after finishing with a -3 on day 1 in the Bahamas.
Steen made some swing and equipment adjustments during the offseason. “I visited the Ping factory in December and made some adjustments to my equipment. I added another wedge – I used to have only a pitching wedge, 52 degree, and a 58 degree and now I have pitching wedge, 49, 54 and 58. This has helped me dial in my distance control on 30-110 yard shots. I was fitted for a new putter, Ping Voss style, and I also am playing the new Ping irons, the i200s. In regards to my golf swing, I worked with my coach, Tim Lambert (Steen’s HS coach at Lakota West, currently Mason Boys Golf HC), on maximizing ground force in my swing to make my move more efficient.”
Steen has set lofty goals for herself this season. “Play my way into all five majors, qualify for the Asian events at the end of the season (top 60-65 on money list) and to keep my LPGA Card for 2018,” said Steen. While she has LPGA “full status”, it does not guarantee entry into majors or “limited field” events such as the match play event or tournaments in Scotland, New Zealand and Asia. Her plan is to play in every event she can get into and play her way others.
The Pure Silk Bahamas Classic is being aired all 4-days on the Golf Channel. The LIVE leaderboard can be found here: http://www.lpga.com/leaderboard
At Lakota West, Steen competed with the varsity team since her freshman season. A remarkable accomplishment when you consider she didn’t pick up a club until she was 13 years old because of her commitments to soccer, softball and basketball. The Lakota West team went 55-0 in dual match play during those four years and the team won the OHSAA State Championship in 2006. Steen’s top individual finish at state was 9th place (2nd team all-state) in 2006 and she earned All-GMC four times.