Big Break Ireland Competitor
Hometown: Versailles, Ky.
Current Residence: Versailles, Ky.
Home Course: University Club of Kentucky
College: University of Florida (2005-07) / University of Kentucky (2007-09)
Profession: Golf Professional
One of the most experienced competitors on Big Break Ireland, Mallory has golf in her genes. Her mother, Myra Blackwelder, was a 13-year member of the LPGA Tour and Rookie of the Year in 1980. Her father, Worth Blackwelder, has caddied for many of the top players in the game, including Dottie Pepper, Juli Inkster, Natalie Gulbis and Cristie Kerr.
“Golf is all I have known,” said Blackwelder. “I was out on tour even before I was born, and I grew up around some of the best players in the game. Now my goal is to be one of them.”
Even though Blackwelder grew up in and around golf, basketball was her first sport of choice growing up. “I remember all of the other girls at school talking about playing basketball, and I thought, ‘That sounds like fun. I want to be on a team.’ I loved it.”
At age 11, her mother signed her up for the Pepsi Junior Golf Tour. Her parents asked her to give golf a try.
“My mom was great about it. She said ‘Mallory, if you like it, then great. If not, then that’s ok too.’ It took me a little while, but I got hooked.”
As a 13-year-old, she won six out of seven Pepsi Junior Golf Tour events in the 14-15 age division, and then began to play in national junior tournaments. Several top colleges and universities began to take notice.
Blackwelder, normally a planner, committed to the University of Florida without ever visiting the school. When the scholarship offer came in, she accepted that night.
She attended Florida for two years. As fate would have it, her mother, who retired from competitive golf, accepted the head golf coaching position at the University of Kentucky.
She transferred to Kentucky to play for her mother, where she blossomed. The summer after her sophomore year, she won the Women’s Western Amateur. The spring of her junior year, she earned an invitation to compete in the Kraft Nabisco Championship, an LPGA major, making the cut.
“Right then and there I knew this is what I wanted to do for a living,” said Blackwelder. “Playing alongside the LPGA’s best players was an amazing experience. And to have my parents with me, it was awesome.”
Blackwelder turned pro after graduating with a marketing degree in May 2009. In 2010, she competed half the season on the Ladies European Tour, and also had limited status on the LPGA Tour. Traveling the world, she endured a difficult but successful season. In 2011, she has limited status on the Ladies European Tour by choosing to play full time on the LPGA Futures Tour.
Calling 2010 a “sophomore slump,” she is more determined than ever to get back on the LPGA Tour and follow in the footsteps of her mother.
Big Break Ireland might be that next big step she needs.
Watch Mallory's Video Bio.
Big Break Ireland Competitors:
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Big Break Ireland