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Matilda's road to the LPGA

$2,650 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 26 people in 25 months
Hi there :)  I am writing this to give you all an update on my career. The text on the bottom is my background and how I ended up starting this page, but I would like to give you all an update now, since I am at the half-way point of my second full year as a professional golfer.

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My first year (2018) on the Symetra Tour (the official "Road to LPGA") was full of learning experiences and getting used to all the travel and tough competition. It did not exactly go as well as I had hoped, so this year I started off playing some mini tour events such as the Women's All Pro Tour and the NWGA tour. By April, I started playing Symetra Tour events again and in my first tournament, I made some important ranking points and ended up getting reshuffled back on the tour and regaining close to full status for the remainder of the year. It has felt great playing back on the Symetra Tour, and I have enjoyed the life on the road a lot. Starting the year off on the mini tours gave me the perspective I needed and gave me the push to get back on the bigger tour.

Now it is beginning of August, and there are a few more tournaments left on the Symetra Tour schedule. So far I have climbed up in the rankings enough that I will be able to skip Stage I of LPGA Qualifying School. However, as of right now, it looks like I will be starting my Q-School journey from Stage II in Venice, Florida. If (and when :) I have a great finish to the season there is a chance I could get straight into the "Q-Series" which is the final stage of qualifying.  I am very excited to get these last few events going! As I am very grateful to be able to live this life and chase my dream, it does come at a high cost.

No matter if I start my Q-School journey from Stage II or the Final Stage, the total cost is $5,500. This does not include housing costs, fuel/flights, yardage books, potential caddie fees, etc. I am looking for any help, even the smallest amounts help, so I can keep chasing my dream, which is to be only the second Finnish golfer playing on the LPGA tour. I have made some great progress in the last year and I am not planning on stopping. I have a great vision and plan to get to the top but it is difficult to get there by myself.

Thank you so much if you have read this far! If you are interested in donating, I would like to offer something in return:
For every donation over $50, I would like to send you a signed golf picture of me as a thank you. If you would prefer another item such as a golf ball, glove, or a hat, we can discuss details. :)

I am very grateful if you consider donating. Here is a link where you can see more details on Q-School: https://www.lpga.com/tournaments/qualifying-tournament

Also, I stumbled upon this article that scrapes the surface of the lives of professional golfers. https://www.espn.com/golf/story/_/id/14149518/dream-lpga-comes-high-cost

Thank you so much and hope everyone has a great end of summer!!

~ Matilda

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Below is written a couple years ago, decided to keep my background there for anyone who is interested :)

~~~

Hello! My name is Matilda Castren. Since I was a little girl, I have been dreaming of playing on the LPGA tour among the best golfers in the world. I have always been very competitive, and always wanted to be the best player on the golf course. When I was little, I used to tell my parents: "I'm going to be the best golfer in the whole world!" I still have this dream and this goal in my mind, but I have realised the road can be a little bumpy every now and then.

I competed with the Finnish National Team for nearly 8 years. During that time I have not only had some great fun but also some success on the way. The highlights of those years are winning the silver medal in the European Team Championships, and winning a bronze medal in the European Individual Championships. My highest peak in the World Amateur Rankings was 19th (May, 2017). In addition I have gained some wins, top5's, and top10's from international tournaments. These tournaments have been so much fun and will always hold these memories close to my heart! Even though I was born in New York, I was raised Finnish and therefore representing my country will always be an honor for me!

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These past four years I have been studying and playing college golf at Florida State University. I ended my college career with a school record stroke average of 72.52 and also had a school record of 7 individual wins during my four years. I was also selected in the All-American teams twice (2014, 2017). These four years taught me many lessons as a person and golf player. I can truly say these years were the best time of my life and I can never thank Florida State University enough for giving me the opportunity for getting my bachelors degree and playing in one of the nations best golf programs!


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So, as I finished my college career, I thought it would be time to take the next step on my career. I have recently turned professional and have been planning my schedule for next year. I believe I have the ability to compete on the highest level, so I am participating in the LPGA Qualifying School in August. Being a professional golfer is great, but unfortunately the traveling and competition expenses are very high. I believe I will be able to be successful on my career, but I just need a base to start with and be able to pay for competing! This is why I am raising money on GoFundMe. Anything donated here will be directly used toward competition expenses and helping to get my professional career started. The 30k listed would cover some of that, and in addition I have some of my own savings that I will use. 

Even the smallest amount means the world to me! Thank you so much for donating!
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Hi all! Thanks so much for all the support. I am happy to say I have won my first professional tournament and I would not have been able to do it without all of your help!
Thank you so much! The road to the LPGA is still long but I'm confident that I'm getting a bit closer every day!

Matilda
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Hi everyone! Just wanted to post a quick update to you all! Since I started my campaign, I have been playing in a few tournaments, with the most significant being the first qualifying stage of LPGA tour. I had a great week over there in California shooting the scores of 69-73-68-76 which put me in t38th position, while top 90 players advanced to second stage of qualifying. It was a bit of a stressful week but it was a great feeling to advance to the next stage!

By getting through the first stage, I got myself a status for Symetra Tour, which is the tour below LPGA. This means at second stage I can only improve my status and play to go through to Final Stage where I can earn my LPGA status. This time is very exciting and I am motivated to work hard every day to reach my goals and dreams! Still a couple weeks to go before second stage and I am using this time to prepare and be in best shape possible for the tournament!

Have a great weekend!

- Matilda
Mission Hills Country Club, California
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$2,650 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 26 people in 25 months
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