DeWitt Kathleen Ekey has said that, since childhood, she has aimed at reaching the LPGA, the top level of women’s professional golf.
“Not many people get to do what they have dreamed of their whole life,” she said.
Well, thanks to her victory at last week’s Alliance Bank Golf Classic at Drumlins Country Club’s East Course, Ekey further solidified her place atop the LPGA Futures Tour’s money list and all but assured that she will get to go to the LPGA in 2011.
As the only player to break 70 all three rounds at Drumlins East, Ekey, 25, finished at 205, eight under par, three shots ahead of 2009 Alliance Bank Classic champion Jenny Suh. Four players – Lisa Ferrero, Allison Hanna, Stephanie Connelly and Dawn Shockley – shared third place at 209, one behind Suh.
With the $16,000 first prize, Ekey moved her season total to $65,225, with Ferrero in second. Both are certain to be in the top 10 Futures money list that, at season’s end, will gain LPGA Tour cards.
In her third year on the Futures Tour after a solid college career at Alabama, Ekey had slowly gained confidence throughout 2011, earning six top 10 finishes in 11 Futures starts and winning the Ladies Titan Tire Challenge in Iowa early in June. She said the experience gained playing under pressure so many times benefited her here.
“It’s a big grind,” said Ekey. “You have to be patient, which isn’t the easiest thing to do.”
Friday finish launches Ekey's winning effort
And the pressure was on Ekey right away during a soggy opening round on Friday. More than half an inch of rain hit Drumlins East, but it didn’t keep Ferrero from shooting a five-under-par 66 to grab a two-shot lead. That included a pair of eagles, one holed from the fairway on the 1st hole, the other chipped in at 13.