Maja Stark continues hot streak at JM Eagle LA Championship after adopting no swearing rule

Maja Stark had a new and interesting goal at last week’s Chevron Championship: No swearing. No outward displays of frustration.

The advice came from Peter Hanson, a former pro who works with fellow Swede Ludvig Aberg, a rising star on the PGA Tour. Instead of telling Aberg to have more patience, they work on saying “just keep playing.”

The shift takes a player out of thinking about what just happened, and instead points them to thinking about what’s ahead.

“I think that has been way better for me just both with staying calm with what I’m doing now,” said Stark at the Chevron, “but also being aggressive on the next shot.”

Stark, 24, finished runner-up to Nelly Korda last week in Texas, her best finish in a major. Last month, she tied for third at the Ford Championship. This week at JM Eagle LA Championship at Wilshire Country Club, Stark opened with a 6-under 65 and sits one shot behind leader Grace Kim.

Stark said some of the frustration she’s felt on the LPGA is due to the tour playing tougher courses than what she experienced on the Ladies European Tour, where she won six times.

“You know, when you’re used to having more made cuts and top 10s and everything you kind of expect it,” said Stark, “but then the competition is just so much harder out here than it was on my previous tour.”

“So, yeah, and I just tended to get stressed a lot when I messed up and then that leads to me making more and more mistakes.”

Stark left Houston with a confidence boost after a more patient mindset enabled her to get up-and-down from some “really bad places.” That’s carried on this week in Los Angeles, where Stark has worked to conserve energy after a draining major championship run.

“I feel like I’ve just been more patient,” said Stark. “Haven’t made any dumb mistakes. Just taking my medicine where I needed to.”

2024 JM Eagle LA Championship
2024 JM Eagle LA Championship

Hannah Green plays her shot from the fifth tee during the first round of the 2024 JM Eagle LA Championship at Wilshire Country Club. (Photo: Harry How/Getty Images)

Last year’s Wilshire winner, Hannah Green, opened with a 67. The Aussie has stayed with the same host family at the event since 2018 and enjoyed having Wilshire members out watching her play on Thursday. She’s a regular at the Great White Australian café that’s across the street when she has a late tee time. Wilshire is a comfortable place for the four-time winner.

“It’s nice to be able to switch off properly,” she said.

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek