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American Rookie Hopes To Spring Another Surprise This Week at Brickyard Crossing

Sarah Burnham left the comfort of college as a decorated athlete and entered the LPGA Tour in 2019.

The transition was tough, and she struggled to believe early in the season that she belonged on the same tour as the best female professional golfers in the world.

“On my first couple events on the LPGA Tour, I had zero confidence whatsoever,” she said. “I was just nervous about playing with the best in the world.”

Burnham said her goal for her rookie season was simple: Make the cut for every event. Specifically, she wanted to make the cut for at least one LPGA major tournament.

She accomplished that goal. Then, on Sept. 1 at the Cambia Portland Classic, she even surprised herself.

In the final LPGA event before the Indy Women in Tech Championship this Thursday through Sunday at Brickyard Crossing Golf Course, Burnham scored her career-best finish by tying for ninth place.

The first top-10 finish of her young professional career surprised Burnham, a 23-year-old Michigan State graduate from Maple Grove, Minnesota. It was a high point of an unexpected season, to say the least.

“I really surprised myself throughout the year so far,” she said. “I never thought I’d get a top-10 finish. I’m just looking to surprise myself again this week (at the Indy Women in Tech Championship).”

The top-10 finish before the three-week break in the LPGA Tour has returned Burnham’s confidence as she prepares for the final seven events of the season. She said she is starting to believe in herself again like she did at Michigan State, where she was two-time Big Ten Player of the Year and a three-time First Team Big Ten player.

“I know I can play with the best,” she said. “(Golf) is about keeping your mind calm and believing in yourself and that you can be out here with the best. That’s what I really struggled with. I’m just going to keep trying, and maybe I’ll surprise myself along the way.”

Burnham is making sure she has a chance to surprise herself at the Brickyard when she joins the 132-player field and battles for a $2 million purse. She played the Brickyard Crossing Golf Course last week, which features the final four holes inside the 2.5-mile oval.

She plans to arrive in Indianapolis for the tournament early so she can play the course again. Being that she still commutes from East Lansing, Michigan, she said this weekend’s tournament, a four-hour drive from Michigan, is an advantage.

“It’s nice, because you have your own car, and it’s a little bit like home and the course is like home,” she said. “I definitely feel like it’s an advantage.”

After one round on the unique course, Burnham said she understands the challenges the Indy Women in Tech Championship will present: sloped greens and an unforgiving rough.

“The rough is going to be challenging around the greens,” she said. “If you’re not hitting the greens in the right spot, that could be challenging. It’s not just about hitting the greens but hitting them in the right spot. I think that’s going to be tough.”

The Indy Women in Tech Championship tees off on Thursday with round one and goes through Sunday at Brickyard Crossing. Visit for tickets and more information.

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