Mitzi Edge swears she's trying to be easier on herself nowadays, telling herself that golf is a game of mistakes.
But the Augusta resident admits it's tough to be laid-back while on a course she's probably played more than any of her LPGA Tour competitors.
"I'm just trying not to put too much pressure on myself, which sometimes I have a tendency to do," the 41-year-old golfer said. "I tell myself to do the best I can, and that's really all I can do. There's a fine line between trying too hard and letting yourself play."
Edge saw both sides of that line during the first round at the Asahi Ryokuken International Championship on Thursday, finishing with a 3-over-par 75.
Edge said she was "happy with some good things and unhappy with some other things" as she walked off the 18th green at Mount Vintage Plantation Golf Club, but the good things were a sign of progress during a year that has been disappointing so far.
Edge has yet to make a cut in seven appearances.
"You just try to get some momentum going, and it's tough if you're not playing on the weekend," said Edge, who shot a first-round 71 last week at the Aerus Electrolux USA Championship before going home early. "You're finishing up on Friday, and then you don't start again until Thursday."
On Thursday, Edge gained some confidence that she might be around for the weekend. She bogeyed the first hole but birdied No. 5 and made the turn at even par.
The 18-year LPGA Tour veteran birdied the par-5 12th to drop to 1-under, but her fortunes then began to dip. She bogeyed No. 13 after missing the green on her approach and hitting her pitch long, then she landed in the bunker on the 14th and later two-putted for a double bogey on the par-4 hole.
That left her at 2-over heading to No. 15. After three straight pars, she suffered another bogey on the par-4 18th after her tee shot went long and left her with a downhill lie in the rough.
Her approach sailed into the bunker fronting the green, and she two-putted to end a mostly encouraging day on a discouraging note.
Putting is Edge's biggest concern heading into today.
"I struggled to get my speed all day long," said Edge, who was tied for 14th entering the final round last year before finishing tied for 33rd. "You've got to have perfect speed on these greens to make putts."
Edge, who is still looking for her first LPGA victory, said she also was fooled by the wind several times.
"You would try to make sure which way the wind was blowing; you'd play a hole, and it would switch on you," she said. "You need to have the right club in your hand on the fairway, and you've got to put it underneath the hole. It can't be above the hole, or even to the side."
Reach Larry Williams at (706) 823-3645.