BOCA RATON, Fla. – At age 25, Sophia Schubert (Oak Ridge, Tenn.) already has seen some of the LPGA’s biggest stages, having played in three different women’s major championships. But Thursday’s Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio was something different. It was her first LPGA start as a card-bearing member of the LPGA. Schubert graduated off the top 10 of last year’s Symetra (now Epson) Tour, finishing fourth in the season-long points race.

In her debut as a member, Schubert, the 2017 U.S. Women’s Amateur champion and a former standout at Texas, was admittedly pretty nervous. Through 10 holes, she was 1 over par, but she settled down and managed three birdies coming in. 

“This was a new experience. I’ve waited for this my whole life,” said Schubert, who poured in a 20-footer for birdie at the 18th hole to shoot 2-under 70. “The way I approached it … I was grateful today. Grateful that I’m out here, grateful that God gave me this opportunity. I just tried to look at it in a positive way. I have a really great caddie (Brittany Hamilton).”

Schubert made 18 cuts in 20 starts a year ago on the Symetra Tour, winning the Carolina Golf Classic and adding eight other top-10 finishes. The strength or her game always has been her ballstriking, but it wasn’t as sharp as usual on Thursday. Her putting kept her steady and pushed her into red numbers. She is confident about the season that lies ahead. 

“One thing that I’ve always tried to do is to be in the top 10 of every tour, or everything that I’ve ever played in, starting when I was 6 years old,” she said. “I’ve tried to be at the top of every level I’ve played. I feel good about it. I just need to go out and play my game, and remember that it’s the same game I’ve always played. I feel if I do that, I can probably do pretty well.”

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