Marina Alex has yet to visit her home this week, despite being under an hour away from Trump National Golf Club, Bedminster. The 26-year-old makes it a priority to stop at her home in Wayne, N.J. before she competes in the ShopRite LPGA Classic down in Atlantic City.
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So, far, she’s glad she’s broken that routine.
“The first two days I put together I'm really pleased with,” Alex said of her rounds of 71-70. “Usually when I come to Atlantic City, I spend a few days at home and it's great. But I think it really gets me out of my routine. When I go to other tournaments, I don't do anything like that. I really wanted to treat this week and prepare for this week like I would be going to a U.S. Open.”
Alex sits at 3-under for the week in a tie for 10th. A two hour rain delay on Thursday extended her afternoon until play was suspended at 8:33 p.m. after playing only 15 holes.
Alex arrived at Trump Bedminster Friday at 5:15 a.m. to finish her first round, which included three pars. In her second round, which began at 8:45 a.m., she hit 11 of 14 fairways on her way to a 2-under 70.
“It was just steady,” Alex said. “Hit a ton of fairways, a lot of greens, made some good putts early in the round. It's been a really long day.”
Alex, who used to play out of North Jersey Country Club, is happy to be in front of a home crowd and her family this week. She’s had four finishes inside the top-10 this year and is No. 38 on the LPGA money list.
The 5-foot-3 right-handed player has been in contention at majors before. In 2015, she was tied for the lead after the first round of the U.S. Women’s Open before finishing 20th. This is her fourth appearance at this major event.
“I put so much pressure on myself to play well in the state of New Jersey because I want to represent you guys all so well,” she said. “There's a lot of fans out and they'll shout, Go Jersey, Go Wayne, where I'm from, and Wayne Hills, where I went to high school. A lot of that. It's cool. It really is. It's never going to happen really again for me. I got to soak it in.”