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Jackie Stoelting

Jackie Stoelting
Age: 27
Current Residence: Vero Beach, Fla.
Hometown: Vero Beach, Fla.
Home Course: Meadowood Golf and Tennis Club / Fairwinds Golf Course
College: Florida Southern College
Profession: Professional Golfer

Career Stats
-    LPGA Tour Rookie in 2014.  Earned conditional status by finishing T38 (-1) at the 2013 LPGA Qualifying Tournament.
-    Qualified for and competed in the 2013 U.S. Women’s Open at Sebonack, making the cut.
-    Two-time NGCA Division II All-American Second Team selection at Florida Southern College.
-    Member of the winning 2007 NCAA Division II National Championship Team at Florida Southern.  Finished 11th individually.
-    Finished 12th on the 2011 Symetra Tour Money List.
-    Winner of the 2009 Florida Hospital Foundation Pro-Am (67-66).  Only female out of 60 professionals.
-    Finished 22nd on the 2013 Symetra Tour Money List
-    5 Top-10 finishes in 2013 on Symetra Tour

2013 was a very good year for Jackie Stoelting.  She married in May.  She competed in one of the most prestigious events in women’s golf – the U.S. Women’s Open – in June.  She recorded five top-10 finishes on the Symetra Tour, finishing 22nd on the Money List.  In December, she earned LPGA status by finishing T38 during Stage III of LPGA Q School, and will be an LPGA Rookie in 2014.

“2013 was my year on and off the golf course, that’s for sure,” said Jackie.  “I used my experiences over the years to motivate myself in accomplishing my ultimate goal of becoming an LPGA Tour member.”

“Motivation” is a key word that Jackie uses constantly when talking about her golf career.  Giving up is not in her vocabulary.

Jackie was introduced to golf at an early age by her parents.  Her mother, who also was her high school golf coach, experienced her daughter’s motivation first-hand.

During Jackie’s freshman year, her mother was faced with a difficult decision in selecting the team to compete in the state competition.  Not wanting to show favoritism, Jackie was passed over for an upperclassman.

“I was really mad,” explained Jackie.  “My mom received a lot of undue pressure and criticism from parents and her assistant coach, which wasn’t fair to her.  She told me if I wanted to get serious about golf, now was the time.  That was motivation for me to become better, because I was never going to allow that happen again.”

Jackie’s golf improved dramatically over the next three years of high school.  When she made the decision to continue her golf career in college, she spoke with several schools, eventually settling on Florida Southern College.  She received an academic scholarship and a partial golf scholarship, although initially, her coaches weren’t very optimistic about her chances of making the traveling team.

“I loved the school and was there to get an education, first and foremost,” explained Jackie.  “When I was told from the coaches that I was being given a year to prove myself and that I probably wouldn’t qualify for any tournaments my freshman year, that motivated me even more.  “I wanted to prove to my coaches that I had what it takes.”

Not only did she qualify for every tournament her freshman year, she eclipsed a few upperclassmen on the roster and entrenched herself as the No. 3 player on the team.  Once she started qualifying for tournaments, her coaches saw her potential.  She earned a full golf and academic scholarship during her sophomore year and, subsequently, helped Florida Southern win the NCAA Division II National Championship in her junior year, finishing 11th individually.

During Jackie’s senior year, she interned as an elementary school teacher and fell in love with teaching.  She had already decided that she was going to give professional golf a go after graduation, but she also knew that she had a second career option should golf not work out.   

Prior to her school’s conference championship, a freshman on the team outperformed Jackie at a tournament.  Since golf had taken a back seat briefly due to her internship, her scores started to suffer.  Regardless of her season-long performance, Jackie was informed by her coaches that she would compete against her teammate in a playoff to determine who would advance to the conference championship.  She lost by one shot and failed to qualify for her conference championship as a senior.

“That was heartbreaking,” said Jackie.  “It felt like someone just took my confidence right away from me.”

She recalled a similar experience in high school, where she sat out her state championship.  She remembers telling herself this type of situation wouldn’t happen again.  Yet, it did.

She told herself, “I am going to be the best female player to ever come out of Florida Southern.”

Jackie’s motivation, experiences and perseverance has paid dividends ever since.  Following graduation in 2009, she has competed on golf’s mini tours and, for the last three years, full-time on the Symetra Tour.  She has focused on one goal: making it to the LPGA Tour and walking the fairways with the game’s best players.  In October 2013 she added another goal to her list: To become champion of Big Break Florida.

She accomplished her first goal.  She qualified for the 2013 U.S. Women’s Open one day after returning from her honeymoon, and made the cut in what was arguably one of the toughest courses – Sebonack - on the LPGA schedule.  This year, she is a card-carrying member on the LPGA Tour.

Her success on the golf course comes from not putting so much undue pressure on herself. She always wanted to be a teacher.  Being a teacher requires patience.  Jackie is transferring that patience to the golf course, one shot at a time.

This spring, the golf world will watch to see if Jackie Stoelting can remain patient and motivate herself one more time to accomplish her second goal: Winning Big Break Florida.