The spectacular revival of Maude-Aimée Leblanc

In October 2019, the great golfer from Quebec surprised many fans by announcing her permanent retirement professional circuits.

Over time I realized that it had never been my dream and that golf did not make me happy, even after good performances.

I didn’t like the person I was on the golf course and always wanted to do something more meaningful with my life than hit a little cue ball.the Sherbrooke resident had written on her Facebook account.

Incredibly, two and a half years after this seemingly final decision, Maude-Aimée Leblanc is off to the best start to a season of her LPGA Tour career! In four tournaments, she already has two top-10 appearances in her history, including a fourth-place finish at the JTBC Classic in California in late March.

She looks at the ball she just hit.

Maude Aimee Leblanc

Photo: Getty Images/Daniel Kalisz

Statistically, the 33-year-old impresses on many levels. Specifically, he ranks 7th on the circuit in terms of percentage of greens hit in regulation shots with 76.39%.

Also, his name ranks 10th for the number of rounds completed under the 70 bar. And of course, his power remains his trademark. His drives earned him seventh place in the league with an average of 277.13 yards.

Starting Wednesday morning, Maude-Aimée Leblanc will take part in her fifth tournament of the season, the Lotte Championship, in Hawaii. She plans to participate in 20 or 25 competitions by the end of the calendar.

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For such a change to happen, Leblanc says he didn’t change his mind overnight. Rather, it was his toxic relationship with golf that changed.

Now I have a healthier relationship with golf. It is no longer an obsession. I would even say that it is no longer a passion. I play more for fun. I play for a living, of course. But now, when I walk off the golf course, I don’t talk about golf or think about it. »

a quote from Maude-Aimée Leblanc, golfer

In the past, I thought about golf 24 hours a day and often even dreamed about it at night. it was not healthyShe believes.

In a career spanning more than three decades, I don’t remember arguing with an athlete who attributed part of his success to drastically reducing his training time. However, this rather atypical setting has proven to be extremely beneficial for Maude-Aimée Leblanc.

He previously spent six to eight hours a day at the golf club. Now it’s maybe two or three hours.

In the past, I tended to overcomplicate things on a technical level and found that it led nowhere. I changed that completely. I spend much less time on the driving range. Before my rounds, I warm up and that’s it. I think very little about the technical aspect. For me this is what works and it took me a while to realize thatshe says.

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After announcing her retirement as a professional golfer in the fall of 2019, Maude-Aimée Leblanc took training and became certified by the American PGA allowing her to teach golf.

However, she never taught. After several months off the course, she began looking for a teacher capable of correcting her putting strokes, which she considered her greatest weakness.

You have to put that in context. At the end of the 2019 season, I was in 30th place on the Symetra Circuit (the minor pro circuit that gives access to the LPGA) and really was at the bottom of that circuit. Everything is difficult there, even scholarships that are minimal. And it wasn’t doing well financially either. I no longer had enough money to continue. I think I would have made more money working at McDonalds. It didn’t make any sense. So, he had come to the conclusion that it was better to do something else.she adds.

The golfer takes off.

Maude-Aimée Leblanc at the Australian Open in 2017

Photo: Getty Images/Brenton Edwards

The pandemic delayed the start of the following season. And when LPGA tournaments reappeared on television in the summer of 2020, he started wanting to get his clubs out of the closet.

The more time passed, the more it bothered me. I knew that I had the talent to succeed and I told myself that I still had things to achieve. And I decided to get back in the game.

Maude-Aimée Leblanc then went to meet Sal Spallone, a golf teacher from Vero Beach (a region where she has lived for about ten years) to correct her endless putting problems.

He had heard of Sal in glowing terms. I told myself I had nothing to lose by going to see him. I have been working with him ever since. He completely changed my approach and position on the greens. And that’s what made all the difference. »

a quote from Maude-Aimée Leblanc, golfer

Plus, Sal has already played professionally. I think it’s good to have a coach who understands how things are going in tournaments and what the players are going through.she points out.

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On the Symetra circuit in 2019, Maude-Aimée Leblanc was ranked 61st in terms of the number of putts made per game. After working with Spallone, she moved up to #9 in 2020.

From the first time I saw Maude hit the ball, I saw that she had a special talent. Her drive and her talent are natural. She is tall (1.85m/6ft 1in) and physically strong. The length of her tee shots is a big plus. She was a great base to start working with.says Spallone, who has participated in a few PGA Tour tournaments as well as the US Open.

We sat down together and made a game plan to take it to the next level. And we focused on his putt, which prevented him from going out. I didn’t give him a magic potion. We only made minor adjustments here and there. Maude-Aimée assimilated them and that allowed him to develop her confidence.

The work he has been doing for two years is paying off. Her strategy now is to let her use her athleticism and instinct instead of game mechanics. All athletes are different. And in her case, that’s what works best. […] I’m delighted to see that he’s had this kind of success since the start of the season. It’s good for his confidence and shows him that he has what it takes to win at this level. If you keep knocking on the door regularly, you’ll end up going for that famous first win.Sal Spallone believes.

The main stakeholder shares her coach’s optimism.

I have more maturity as a player and kept learning what worked best for me. In the case of the training routine or the putting upIt took me several years to make these discoveries. I think I’ll have my best golf years in my thirties.she says.

We can’t wait to see what’s next.

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