Blackwelder Completes LPGA Q-School, Earns Tour Status

Dec. 7, 2009

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Former University of Kentucky women's golfer Mallory Blackwelder earned LPGA category 20 status Monday after completing Qualifying School with a 4-over-par 364 (74-72-74-72-72) at LPGA International. Blackwelder combines with her mother, Myra Blackwelder, a 17-year LPGA veteran and current head coach at Kentucky, to become the first mother/daughter duo in tour history.

"Mallory and I are both extremely proud to have crossed this milestone, and she is excited to get to be part of the LPGA Tour in 2010," head coach Myra Blackwelder said. "Although Mallory is disappointed she did not earn full exempt status on next year's tour, she views this more limited status as an opportunity to work her way into better standing by virtue of the possibility of getting into a handful of LPGA events next year."

A 2009 graduate, Blackwelder finished the qualifying tournament tied for 38th. Qualifiers finishing 31-40 received category 20 status. The top 20 qualifiers earned category 11 status, while positions 21-30 earned category 16 status. A 90-hole event, the Final Qualifying Tournament was held at the Champions and Legends Course at LPGA International.

The Versailles, Ky., native earned a spot in the Final Qualifying Tournament after tying for sixth at the LPGA Sectional Qualifying Tournament held at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif., on Sept. 17-20. Blackwelder finished the sectional with a 6-under-par 282 (72-68-67-75).

Turning professional after graduation, Blackwelder also qualified for the 2010 Duramed FUTURES Tour in November. Blackwelder finished the event held at Lake Region Yacht & Country Club in Winter Haven, Fla., with a 5-under-par 355 (71-74-66-70-74) in a tie for fourth place.

Next, Blackwelder is set to compete in the Ladies European Tour Qualifying School process beginning Dec. 14-16 in Murcia, Spain. There, Blackwelder hopes to gain full exempt status for the 2010 season.

"When Mallory was a baby she traveled with me on the tour. Her first experience as a golfer was through the LPGA Junior Girls Golf Club in Lexington," Myra Blackwelder said. I have enjoyed watching her career blossom through junior golf, high school golf, and in college. We are blessed to have had the opportunity to share many special moments through golf. It has been a pleasure to teach her the game at a young age, and more special to coach her at the University of Kentucky."

Blackwelder participated in every event for the Wildcats during 2008-09. She finished the season with a team-low 75.52 stroke average. Blackwelder also led Kentucky to a victory at the UTC Lady Mocs Tournament, taking the event's individual title with a 77. The Southeastern Conference also named Blackwelder Southeastern Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year in April.