It had come so easy for the perpetually smiling and endlessly upbeat 5-foot-2 dynamo.
As a rookie in 2006, Julieta Granada burst onto the LPGA scene with seven top-1o finishes, which culminated with the distinction of being the first female golfer to earn $1 million in a tournament after she won the ADT Championship.
Maybe it was too easy? The success too quick?
Revamping her swing and career focus, Granada failed to register a top-1o finish in 2008 and 2009. Now, Granada has a new outlook. Working with Athletic & Personal Development program performance specialist Trevor Anderson, Granada is stronger, more confident -- and smiling just as often -- than any point in her career.
Granada, who makes the drive from Orlando to IMG Academy twice a week, answered some questions and showed off some of her daunting workout routine.
...changes for 2010: I'm really excited. I'm feeling good about my swing. I've gotten stronger. I'm hitting it really well. I'm really looking forward to this year.
I can concentrate on what needs to be done. I know what works and I know what doesn't. To have a fresh start is really great. You have all of the good stuff and bad stuff that you've learned to rely on and get back on track. In 20 years, nobody is going to remember the two years that weren't so good.
...learning from 2008-2009: It was hard, because I thought it would always be that easy. From 2003-2006, I had a lot of wins and a lot of top 10s, so I kind of started taking it for granted. It's well worth it, though. Everyone has ups and downs. You learn from the downs and enjoy the ups.
I think it was a combination of a lot of things. If you don't take care of one thing, it starts affecting 2, 3 and 4, and then you have a lot of things to address. I was young and didn't really know which direction I wanted to go with my team and my swing. I think 2008 and 2009 were really good learning years for me.
...going through Q-School again and shooting a final-day 68: Q-School was a great experience. The first day, I'm like, "What happened? How am I here?" But I looked at it as a clean plate. I did it once before, why not do it twice. The whole year I was close to shooting a great round and I finally did it on the most important day. It was tough because everyone was sort of freaking out. It was a great experience. I went in with the attitude that I should just enjoy it, and that's the kind of attitude I should have at every tournament. It's a blessing just to be able to play.
...winning the ADT Championship and $1 million: With all of my tournament wins, I had a weird mental state. I was so relaxed and calm and nothing could get me off track. That course was the toughest course that we played all year and the last three holes are extremely tough, but there was never a point that I was like, "What if I hit it in the water? What if I double? What are the other players doing?"
I went and bought myself a nice car. A white Range Rover Sport. This summer, I just got another to give myself a little treat for really pushing myself and being tough the past couple years.
...moving from Paraguay to the IMG Academy golf program at age 14: It was tough. It was a big change coming from Paraguay with the culture, the language, the golf and school was so hard. For the first six months, I hated it. I thought I wasn't strong enough to handle it. I learned some more English and started enjoying the golf more, and I started feeling more at home.
The atmosphere is great. I got here, and I definitely wasn't the best junior player. I saw players who I wanted to be with the success they were having, and they gave me advice. Casey Wittenberg always told me things that he did and how he practiced. I watched Aree and Naree (Song) and Paula (Creamer) having some success, and I wanted that. It really pushes you to be your best.
...competition level at the Academy during that time: It was definitely competitive. There was a time when it was me, Paula, Aree and Naree and a couple other girls working out every morning. You could tell that nobody wanted to lift lighter weights or do less reps, and it drove all of us. A lot of times you didn't want to wake up, but you knew someone else would be out there working hard.
...who is on her bag: My mom is still my caddy. She does a great job. When I'm playing good, it's great. When I'm playing bad, we learn things. It's fun traveling with her and my dog. Coming from South America, you need your whole family, the cows, the pigs around you, so it's a good support system.
...the comforts of home: I travel all over the world with golf, so my favorite thing to do is just watch football all day on Sundays and not leave the house. I got back from Dubai December 13 and didn't leave the house for four days. I don't follow any team in particular. I know which teams I don't like -- the Patriots and the Cowboys. I don't like cocky teams.
I'm into "24." I got hooked in 2005. I actually got to play with President Logan. I talked about the show the whole time, and he just wanted to ignore it. I'm like, "You're a bad president." He's a great guy, though. He came out to follow me for a couple holes at the Nabisco Championship last year.
...her number of Twitter followers: 1,211. I think. (Ed. note: correct). I check it all the time. I try to compete with other LPGA players. I follow Ashton Kutcher. I follow John Mayer. I follow Reggie Bush and Kim Kardashian. I love "Keeping Up with the Kardashians."