Current Residence: Humble, Texas
Hometown: South Bend, Indiana
Home Course: Golf Club of Houston
College: Louisiana State University
Profession: Professional Golfer
- 2001 NGCA First Team All-American at LSU
- Third Place at the 2001 NCAA Women’s Division I Golf Championships
- Winner on the Cactus Tour, CN Canadian Women’s Tour and Symetra Tour
- Qualified and competed in all three U.S. Women’s Opens attempted (2011-13)
- Conditional status on the LPGA Tour in 2014. Earned conditional status via finishing T-44 at LPGA Q-School Final Stage.
- Rookie on the LPGA Tour in 2012, earning conditional status via LPGA Q-School in 2011
“Never give up on your dreams.”
Katy Harris’ dream since high school has been to walk the fairways with the best players in the world on the LPGA Tour. In 2014, she is finally starting to realize that dream, but it wasn’t without struggles and heartbreak in between.
A decorated high school junior golfer and an All-American at Louisiana State University, Harris was well on her way when a right hand injury sidelined her dream indefinitely.
“Looking back on it, the injury was a blessing in disguise,” said Harris. “I was burnt out on golf towards the end of college. My passion just wasn’t there, and I knew that I wasn’t going to continue after my injury.”
Following graduation in 2001, Harris underwent two surgeries to repair her right hand and the instability in her joint. She received three pins in her hand and had the joint fused.
“At the time, I knew my competitive career was over,” recalled Harris. “I focused on new goals in my life, both professional and personal.”
She pursued a professional career with ExxonMobil, moving up the corporate ladder over the next several years. She also married and had begun raising a family – she and her husband have a young son and daughter.
Golf wasn’t entirely out of her system, however. When her children got a little older, Harris ventured out on the golf course in the afternoons – by herself – to test her game and her hand. She soon discovered the pain in her hand was gone while swinging the golf club.
Eventually, the “What if” question started creeping into the back of her mind: What if she gave competitive golf another try?
In 2010, nearly nine years after her last tournament in college, she signed up for her first professional tournament, the Texas Open, with the full support and encouragement from her husband.
“I was shaking so bad on the first tee,” recalled Harris. “I just wanted to go out and post a good score and not embarrass myself.”
She carded an opening round 68, ultimately finishing in second place.
“That was the confirmation I needed that I still have what it takes to compete,” said Harris. “That first tournament fueled my passion.”
In the four years since returning to competitive golf, Harris has recorded victories on the Cactus Tour, CN Canadian Women’s Tour and the Symetra Tour. She qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open three consecutive years (2011-13). She auditioned for Big Break Myrtle Beach and was cast for the series, creating another opening for her to reach her ultimate goal of playing on the LPGA Tour.
In late 2013, she also advanced to final stage of the 2014 LPGA Qualifying Tournament, finishing T-44, earning conditional status on the LPGA Tour for 2014. Due to her status, she has been able to play in several LPGA events in 2014.
All the while, Harris continues to balance her skyrocketing professional career with her family life. Being a wife and mother to her two young kids is her first priority. She credits her putting family first as a main reason for the successes she has achieved on the golf course, and wants to serve as an inspiration to her children to follow their passions in life.
Harris hopes her comeback story in golf continues to blossom, serving as inspiration for others to not give up on their dreams. Competing on Big Break Myrtle Beach will be the next chapter in her comeback story, with the hopes of achieving her dream of playing full time on the LPGA Tour.