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Old 09-20-2006, 02:44 PM   #1
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Erica Blasberg - Starting to Shine

Starting to Shine

Seeking exempt status, Blasberg has made five of past six LPGA cuts

10:00 PM PDT on Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Press-Enterprise

Her second professional season almost over, Erica Blasberg wishes it weren't.

Blasberg just found a semblance of the rhythm she didn't have much of during her rookie season. Things have started making more sense, her job as an LPGA player offering up fewer surprises by the week.

"This season has been more relaxed," said the former Corona resident, who begins play Thursday in the LPGA's Longs Drugs Challenge in Danville, near Oakland.

"I know what I need to do out there, and what type of work I need to put in, and I know if I do all that, I'll play well."

Her game has even caught the eye of the best women's player in the world.

"You can see the potential is really there," Annika Sorenstam, who captained Blasberg's winning team in the Lexus Cup last December, said this week.

Not that Blasberg's year has been smooth.

As a conditionally exempt player, she's lived this season as a regular alternate -- which made that finding-a-rhythm thing tricky.

She got into only eight of the LPGA's 15 events through June, and she made the cut just three times.

But since July she's made the cut in five of six tournaments, and with two events left she's ranked 112th on the money list, having earned $52,318.

The top 125 players at season's end will garner conditional status onto the tour again next season.

"But I'm not even thinking about that," Blasberg, 22, said by phone. "I'm focused on getting into the top 90."

Those top 90 will be the fortunate, fully exempt folks who will have a whole season to get in the flow.

Blasberg's best finish in the recent stretch was a tie for 28th at the State Farm Classic this month, a result that was highlighted by an opening pair of 68s.

She wrapped up that tournament with a 73 and 72. Solid scores, but not tallies that put her in contention for a first LPGA victory.

"That's not bad, but if you're just solid in the third or last round, the whole world's gonna go by you," said her father, Mel Blasberg, a teaching pro at Eagle Glen Golf Club and Erica's longtime instructor.

"She makes cuts and she makes sure she doesn't do anything stupid so she collects something out of it, but she's not taking chances to do something special and be in a top 10.

"She's playing well, she's just not finishing tournaments off."

Blasberg's stats prove as much. Her 72.29 scoring average rates 57th on tour; she is tied for 20th in greens in regulation and is tied for 29th in driving accuracy.

"I've played good enough all year," Blasberg said. "It's just that some putts have missed."

And though she hasn't won, people involved with women's golf recognize what the two-time All-American at Arizona could accomplish yet.

"She was invited to play the Lexus Cup last year, and she did really well," said Sorenstam, who captained the International team that defeated Team Asia in Singapore.

It was Blasberg who scored the event-winning point at the Lexus Cup, and she did that after sinking an 85-yard wedge shot to win a match the previous day.

"We had a great time that week, and she hit some crucial shots," Sorenstam said.

When Blasberg didn't get into tournaments this year, she usually wound up at a pro-am somewhere in the country, which helped financially and otherwise.

"I've met so many great people doing them," Blasberg, who lives in Las Vegas, said. "You really get to know people when you play a round of golf with them for five hours.

"And almost every place I go, I meet a contact. So the next time I go back, I'll be able to play golf or have somewhere to stay."

Perfect, because next year Blasberg will aim to establish some staying power to match the rhythm she discovered this time around.
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Old 09-20-2006, 02:51 PM   #2
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Thangs Sag for posting the article........

Erica is on her way.......I am pulling for the top 90 finish as well. Next year, top 20! She is cute and a classy player that is fully dedicated to getting better.
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Old 09-20-2006, 03:50 PM   #3
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Thank you so much sag, I've been hyping about Erica for a long time now nd I'm glad to see people are taking notice. She will certainly be getting better each year and I too hope she can somehow get into the top 90.
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