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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Erica Blasberg

Erica Paige Blasberg (July 14, 1984 – May 9, 2010) was an American golfer who played on the LPGA Tour.

Early life

Blasberg was born in Orange, California, and raised in Corona, California. She attended Corona High School where she played on the boys' golf team.

Amateur career

As an amateur, Blasberg was the medalist at the 2000 U.S. Girls' Junior and lost in the quarterfinals.[3] In 2003, she reached the quarterfinals of the U.S. Women's Amateur. She attended the University of Arizona and was the country's number 1 ranked college player as a freshman, compiling six victories before leaving in her sophomore year to turn pro. She was an All-America golfer in 2003 and 2004, NCAA Freshman of the Year in 2003, Pac-10 Player of the Year in 2003, and won the Golfists Cup, awarded for the NCAA women's lowest stroke average, in 2003. In 2004 she was on the winning United States Curtis Cup team.

Professional career

Blasberg turned professional in June 2004 and played on the Futures Tour that season. She won the Laconia Savings Bank Golf Classic and en route to her first professional win broke the Tour's 18 hole scoring record, shooting a 62. She earned non-exempt status for the LPGA Tour at the 2004 LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament.
Blasberg started on the LPGA Tour in 2005, making the cut in most of her early events but not contending for top positions. She was disqualified from the Chick-fil-A Charity Championship in May 2005 when she left the scoring tent without signing her card. Blasberg later told reporters that the rule infraction was poorly handled by the officials and that she should not have received a penalty. The next week she made a hole in one and won a Mercury SUV. At mid-season she fired her caddie, because she "needed a change." She ended 2005 109th on the money list. She was chosen to play in the 2005 Lexus Cup, where she won two matches and halved another, including a 98 yard hole out on the 18th to win a match. In 2006, despite a late season rally she once again finished just outside the top one hundred on the money list, but a successful tournament at Qualifying School in the fall of 2006 won her exempt status for 2007 — the first and only time in her career she had exempt status on the LPGA Tour.
In 2007, she finished 104th on the money list. She chose not to return to Qualifying School, leaving her once again as a non-exempt player for 2008. In 2008 her results were only marginally better than in 2007. She played 23 tournaments and, while she did earn the only top-10 finish of her career, she again finished near the bottom of the LPGA money list.
She returned again to Qualifying School in 2009 in an attempt to improve her status on Tour for the 2010 but withdrew after shooting rounds of 72 and 78 in the final stage of the Tournament. She entered 2010 with limited playing opportunities and played just one tournament, the Tres Marias Championship in Morelia, Mexico where she finished tied for 44th after Monday qualifying for the event. During the tournament week, Blasberg participated in a "Back to College" event at which she joined fellow players Mina Harigae and Mariajo Uribe in visiting student-athletes at the Universidad Latina De America in Morelia to answer questions on golf and education.

Personal life

Blasberg was considered one of the LPGA's more photogenic players and in February 2006 Puma signed her to endorse and wear their clothing.ESPN radio once compared her to Natalie Gulbis, an LPGA golfer who did a swimsuit calendar.

Blasberg's body was found at her Henderson, Nevada home on the afternoon of May 9, 2010, according to local police. The six-year tour player was 25 years old. No cause of death was disclosed and an investigation is ongoing.According to an Associated Press story, Henderson police were dispatched to Blasberg's home in response to a 911 call around 3:00 PM (PST). The source of the 911 call was not released, as it is part of the investigation.In an interview reported in the Riverside County Press-Enterprise on May 10, Blasberg's father, Mel Blasberg, was quoted saying, "At first glance it looks like she might have taken her own life, but at second glance, something is very, very strange about it. We’re waiting for the police to make an investigation."

Professional wins (1)

Futures Tour (1)
2004 (1) Laconia Savings Bank Golf Classic

Results in LPGA majors

Tournament 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Kraft Nabisco Championship CUT DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
LPGA Championship DNP DNP DNP T76 CUT CUT –
U.S. Women's Open CUT DNP DNP T39 DNP DNP –
Women's British Open DNP DNP DNP DNP T64 DNP –
DNP = did not play
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" = tied
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10.

LPGA Tour career summary

Year Tournaments
played Cuts
made Wins 2nd 3rd Top 10s Best
finish Official
earnings ($) Money
list rank Scoring
average Scoring
2003 1 0 0 0 0 0 T49 n/a n/a 68.75 n/a
2004 3 0 0 0 0 0 MC n/a n/a 75.83 n/a
2005 16 12 0 0 0 0 T31 52,522 T109 73.23 75
2006 16 10 0 0 0 0 T25 62,477 112 72.37 58
2007 19 11 0 0 0 0 T18 72,037 104 73.45 80
2008 23 11 0 0 0 1 T8 113,428 94 73.09 96
2009 17 5 0 0 0 0 T36 26,408 128 73.55 113
2010 1 1 0 0 0 0 T44 5,544 971 73.00 n/a
1Money list ranking as of May 2, 2010, at the end of her last tournament.

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