Kathleen Ekey earned 2012 LPGA membership by finishing first on the LPGA Futures Tour’s 2011 season money list. And for the two-time winner this season, that meant she was not required to attend the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament.
But this week, Ekey is at Q-school in Daytona Beach, Fla., sporting a caddie bib for fellow Futures Tour player Stephanie Connelly. It’s a gesture of support by the Futures Tour’s top player for her friend during one of the most stressful weeks of the year.
“It’s not my first choice to be here, but if I were in her situation, I’d want someone to help me too,” said Ekey, of Ohio. “She called me and asked if I could help and I said yes.”
Of course, what Ekey soon learned was that simply carrying the bag and watching her friend compete was more difficult than she thought.
“It’s hard!” said Ekey. “I’m in a different role than what I’m used to doing. I was talking to her about the wind and it’s good that I understand that as a player, but at the same time, it’s weird to be on the opposite end of the club and not being able to hit the shot myself.”
That said, Ekey adds that her role this week is to help her player feel comfortable and to offer a second opinion on shots and putts around LPGA International’s Legends and Champions courses in the 90-hole event.
“A big key is just getting out there and staying calm,” said Ekey, who will be a 2012 LPGA rookie. “At the end of the day, I tell Steph that this is really about playing 18 holes of golf for five days.”
- By Lisa D. Mickey, LPGA senior staff writer
Topics: Ekey, Kathleen