Q&A: Ryann O'Toole
On A Roll
Continued (page 2 of 2)
Q: Where is home?
A: I grew up in Orange County but I went to UCLA ,and when I graduated I stayed up in L.A. I recently moved in with my coach, David Bartman, who was on the bag at the Solheim. He's like a big brother to me. He's been so good to me over the last three years that I've known him. He teaches me course management and he's been a huge influence for me. He went through the mini tour when it was the Nike Tour, and he just got the point where he wasn't making it to the PGA Tour, so he had to say, okay, time to get a real job. But you know how men have many more shots in their game? They just play a different game and he wanted to teach me more how a guy plays. He's taught me a ton of short game shots, trouble shots, how the ball reacts out of different lies, bunker shots--just really adding a lot of ammunition to my game and changing the way I approach a golf course. He's brought me to the next level.
Q: What's not working in your game?
A: I think you get to a point in all pro careers where you're just fine-tuning your mechanics. At the top level, it's more of a mental game. Who's mentally stronger? And I think that's where I'm still growing. You know, climbing the ladder and you get to these plateaus and you go, okay, now I've got to grow a little more. And right now I think I just mentally need to become stronger because it is a mind game out there. Your swing doesn't go anywhere, so it's mental. People always take me as cocky and very confident. To be honest, I don't want to admit to being nervous or scared, because there are certain times that I'm not, but there are other times that I am human, too, and do feel nervous and do have doubts. For some reason I come off a lot stronger or a lot cockier than I really am.
Q: Your expressed desire to "kick Europe's butt" might have had something to do with that.
A: [Laughs.] That's just my competitive side. But golf is a game. At the end of the day, it doesn't define me, it doesn't make or break me, and it isn't my life. It's just something that I love to do. Golf is the one sport that has pushed me mentally rather than physically, and I've always chosen things that pushed me physically, because they were easy for me. But I fell in love with a sport that mentally pushes me. Golf is something that causes me to have to work harder and figure out how to do it. I can be as physically in shape as anyone. But at the end of the day it comes down to the mental aspect, and that's where I know that I still have to grow. That's what's keeping me from being at the top.