The summer golf season proved so intense for Caroline Masson that the 32-year-old German admits she was overscheduled and burnt out earlier this season, taking a month-long break to mentally reset. Masson came to Mountain Ridge Country Club off a T14 finish at the ShopRite LPGA Classic and feeling refreshed, finally enjoying herself on the golf course again. Her revitalization showed all week, especially during the final round with Masson closing out the week with a bogey-free 7-under 64, Sunday’s round of the day. She leaves New Jersey with renewed confidence ahead of the rest of the 2021 season and is incredibly pleased with her solo second finish in West Caldwell.
“I can't tell you how big this is,” said Masson. “It's been a little bit rough this summer. Honestly, mentally it was a really, really tough stretch, probably the toughest in my career. So to come back out and have a good week last week and feel like I'm getting really close, you know, I know I was pretty far away from winning this week score-wise, but it was close. It’s pretty amazing. Just got to thank everybody on my team for being there for me.”
In a year that’s seen professional athletes speak out more than ever about their mental health, Masson added her name to the cacophony, hoping that she can help others feel more comfortable discussing the subject. Top-five finishes are always validating and of course, every player loves carding rounds in the mid-60s. But sometimes solid results become sweeter because of their implications off the golf course.
“I think you have two choices: You can either not say anything and just crawl in your little hole or you can actually be outspoken,” Masson said. “The more we can talk about (mental health), I think the more it'll help. It's just about accepting that it's a real thing and that, as mentally tough as we all are being out here, it can hit anybody. I think we all have to stick together when it comes to that. We all invest so much into golf from a very young age that it's very hard to say it doesn't really matter. It's what we do most of the time and it's super important to us. But as I'm getting older I have a really good balance in my life, which really helps. I do have to remind myself all the time that a bad round of golf doesn't define me.”