Blackwelder earns LPGA status

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.

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.

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.