By Mark Herring
For the 2021 season, Jessica Porvasnik ranked #1 in the Race to Stage II and led the WAPT money list with $21,847.92 in official earnings. On June 26, two strokes down in the 2021 Bella Vista Charity Classic with two holes to go in the final round, Jessica tied Kenzie Wright at the end of regulation and won on the first hole of the playoff.
Every day, Jessica Porvasnik wears a gold pendant with the inscription “Patient + Positive.” The necklace is a fairly recent gift from her boyfriend, but Jessica has had these ideas in mind since she started playing golf when she was twelve. “I’ve always been setting goals… ‘Break 100, break 90, break 80.’” She excelled on her high school team in Hinckley, Ohio, a team that, she says, “felt like a family.” Interestingly, her parents didn’t play golf when Jessica took up the game. “It led to some interesting conversations at home. My parents would say, ‘Why did you hit that ball in the water?’ They had no idea how hard this game is.” Jessica chose to accept a golf scholarship to Ohio State (her other Division I options included Florida State and Tennessee). Jessica credits her college coaches for helping her hone her short game. She still stays in touch with them.
After graduating in 2017 with a degree in Finance, Jessica turned pro and played in several NWGA events and state opens. She’s won the Women’s Ohio Open (twice) plus state opens in Illinois and Florida. WAPT has been a big part of her schedule for the past three years. In 2019, Jessica played in four events and had a top-ten finish in each one. In 2020, she won WAPT’s opening event, the Coke Dr. Pepper Open in Alexandria, Louisiana, and had two other top-tens in six events. In 2021, she’s had four top-tens in ten events. Jessica says, “I love playing on WAPT. This tour is just great. The talent here just keeps getting better and better.”
Off the golf course, Jessica is tenaciously focused on learning new skills that will help her on the golf course. When asked about the latest book she’s read, Jessica replied, “It’s called ‘Mental Toughness.’ I’m learning a lot and I think it will help me.” She’s also trying to improve her time management (which helps when dealing with scheduling off-the-course activities and making her travel plans). She’s also focused on self-discipline. “I’m still learning that when I hit a bad shot, I have to take the result and just move on.” Right now, she’s working on new strategies for maximizing her post-round recovery.
Jessica’s very clear that “golf is my life.” This year, she couldn’t attend a family vacation because of her commitment to play in a WAPT event. In college, like many athletes, she had to skip classes she’d have enjoyed taking. “I loved my accounting class… And I’d like to have taken a great course they offered on the stock market.”
Jessica says that, in college, all the players were asked to write down goals. She focused on three things: “I think it’s important to dream big, to believe that nothing is ever out of reach. I think it’s also important to follow your passion, to do something you love. And I think it’s important to believe in yourself, to have no doubt in your abilities.”
As Jessica moves on to Stage II qualifying in a couple of months, her past accomplishments and her strong self-belief will form a strong foundation for her future performance. She says she’s a very visual learner, so having caddied for Stage II will be excellent advance preparation. As she moves forward, we believe Jessica will be patient and positive… and successful.