IMPRESSIVE Jodi Ewart has earned automatic entry into final qualifying for the 2011 US LPGA Tour.
The 22-year-old from Catterick won the right to tee up at Daytona Beach, Florida, from December 8-12 with a string of impressive rookie performances on the US Duramed Futures Tour.
She joined the tour in June, after a superb amateur career in which she was twice the English strokeplay champion, represented both England and GB and Ireland – playing in the Curtis Cup and Vagliano Trophy – and was one of the stars of the US women’s college circuit.
In her first professional season Jodi played 11 events, her best finish was third, she had five top 10s and made seven cuts. She was 23rd on the money list with winnings of $20,417 and she was eighth on the rookie of the year table.
The top 10 players on the Duramed Tour win full cards for the 2011 LPGA season while the next 10 – excluding current LPGA members – earn automatic entry to the final qualifying school.
The Duramed Futures Tour is known as “the Road to the LPGA” and since 1999, it has been designated as the LPGA’s developmental tour. Its mission is to prepare the world’s best young women professional golfers for a successful career on the LPGA Tour.
It all looked good when Jodi made a successful start to her pro career when she finished tied fifth in the $110,000 Ladies Titan Tire Challenge at Cedar Rapids in Iowa.
She shared the lead in the tournament for the first two rounds and was still tied for the top spot with nine holes to play in her debut, but as eventual winner Christine Song pulled away with four birdies on the back nine, the Yorkshire golfer dropped back with four bogeys, including one on each of the last three holes and she ended the tournament on three-under par (68 70 75) while Song was 11-under (69 69 67).
“I wasn’t nervous but I just made terrible shots on the back nine,” she said at the time.
Jodi won $3,132 for that showing and was aiming to finish in the top 10 by the end of the season and win her card for the 2011 LPGA Tour, but getting into the qualifying school is a good result and a good performance there could see her on the big-time circuit.
Before turning professional recently, Jodi was one of England’s top amateurs. She won the English strokeplay championship twice, was an England international and a Curtis Cup player. She was ranked fourth in US college golf at the end of her four years at the University of New Mexico where she was lauded as one of the best players the university has had.