Isabella Fierro Enjoying Being “All In” as a 2024 LPGA Tour Rookie

Meet 2023 Epson Tour Graduate Isabella Fierro

It’s been a wild couple of years for Isabella Fierro.

After a standout collegiate career at Oklahoma State University, one that saw her earn two victories and All-American Honorable Mention honors as a Cowgirl, Fierro made the decision to transfer to Ole Miss in the second semester of her junior year. But while everything was squared away golf-wise, Fierro eventually found out that hardly any of the credits she earned at Oklahoma State would roll over to her new university, meaning she would have to repeat her junior year academically despite being roughly 12 credits away from graduating.

It was a tough blow, one that put Fierro in a difficult spot as she now had to decide if she wanted to stay in college for two more years or try her hand at professional golf a bit earlier than she had expected. But after plenty of self-reflection, a thorough assessment of her lifelong goals and advancing through the LPGA and Epson Tour Qualifying Tournament Stage I, the Mexico native ultimately decided to turn professional in 2022 and start chasing her lifelong dream of competing on the LPGA Tour.

“It was a 50/50 decision,” remembered Fierro. “I really gave it a lot of thought, but I was very confident about my goals, about who I am, about my path and everything. My heart told me to turn pro.”

It turned out to be a wise decision as Fierro made it through Stage II of LPGA Qualifying School not long after, but she then hit a bit of a snag at LPGA Q-Series. While she did advance to the second week of play in Lower Alabama, Fierro failed to finish inside the top 45 and ties after the eight rounds of competition, a result that would have secured her LPGA Tour status for the 2023 season.

Despite the disappointment, Fierro was determined to make the most of the Epson Tour status she did manage to earn via Q-School, and she did just that last season, exceeding maybe even her own expectations as a 2023 rookie on the LPGA’s official qualifying tour.

Fierro got off to a slow start, missing three cuts in her first five events on the Epson Tour and only making $2,999 in earnings from March to late April. But she finally picked up her first top-five result in May, tying for second at the Garden City Charity Classic at Buffalo Dunes, and then quieted down again, only recording two top-15 finishes in her next 11 events.

But as the end of the season loomed large, Fierro finally found her footing, punching the gas coming down the stretch with an LPGA Tour card well within reach.

She recorded three straight top-10 results at the Black Desert Resort Championship presented by Marcella (T8), the Guardian Championship (T3) and the Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout presented by Pepsico (T4) before claiming her first professional victory at the Tuscaloosa Toyota Classic, the penultimate event of the 2023 Epson Tour season. The then 22-year-old posted a three-day total of 13-under to defeat Laura Wearn by two shots in Tuscaloosa, Ala., taking home a $30,000 first-place prize that bumped her season earnings up to $97,504 and moved her inside the Race for the Card Top 10 with just one event to play to earn a coveted LPGA Tour card for 2024.

The Epson Tour Championship saw Fierro continue her solid streak as she carded rounds of 72-67-67-65 to record a 72-hole total of 17-under and finish in a tie for eighth, a good enough performance that helped her cross the $100,000 mark in season earnings and finish ninth in the Race for the Card, ultimately locking up LPGA Tour membership for the 2024 season.

It was the perfect ending to a whirlwind two years for Fierro, and with some time to reflect on accomplishing her lifelong dreams so quickly as a professional golfer, she still cannot believe how much things have changed in such a short amount of time.

“It’s definitely a dream come true. I was talking to my boyfriend about it, like how much the circumstances of my life have changed this last year,” said Fierro ahead of her first start as an LPGA Tour member. “Last year, I was a rookie on the Epson Tour with full status, and I was just trying to learn stuff, and right now, I'm a rookie on the LPGA, and I'm going to be playing with the best in the world, and I'm going to be traveling to very exciting places. I'm very fortunate, and I feel ready mentally, physically, golf-wise.”

Like many of her fellow 2024 LPGA Tour rookies, Fierro kicked off her inaugural season on the LPGA Tour at the LPGA Drive On Championship, held this year at Bradenton Country Club in Bradenton, Fla. It was a magnitudinous moment for the young talent, who finally got to realize her dreams of competing on the biggest stage in women’s golf, and the opportunity was one for which she could only express gratitude throughout the week in Southwest Florida, particularly crediting her experience on the Epson Tour as a big reason she felt ready to tackle the challenge of her rookie debut.

“I asked my coach this question whenever I went through Q-School if I was ready for the LPGA when I didn't get my card, and he said, no, you have to go through Epson Tour,” said Fierro after her second round in Bradenton, Fla. “Epson Tour is the best school, best preparation. You play with such high-level, quality golfers, and you play amazing golf courses. The purses have increased.

“The Epson Tour doesn't get the credit that should be. They're doing such an amazing job, and I wouldn't be here without the Epson Tour. I'm so grateful to them.”

Fierro ultimately finished in a tie for 32nd at the LPGA Drive On Championship after opening with back-to-back 69s and then slipping a bit with a pair of over-par scores on Saturday and Sunday. While it wasn’t the dream start she might have envisioned, it was still a solid showing from the rookie in her season debut, one she can’t complain too much about considering her lack of experience on the LPGA Tour. It also whetted her appetite for what was to come throughout the rest of this season as Fierro’s goals for both 2024 and her professional golf career extend far beyond playing well in her first event of the year.

Isabella Fierro of Mexico plays a shot on the tenth hole during the first round of the LPGA Drive On Championship at Bradenton Country Club on January 25, 2024 in Bradenton, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
“One of my goals (this year) will be to listen to myself. How am I feeling? How am I performing?” said Fierro. “Having excellent communication with my team so everything runs smoothly. To feel very comfortable. Even if I’m not feeling comfortable every week because that happens to just play as calm as possible and have fun. Definitely make cuts. I’m aiming for a win for sure. I love to win like every other athlete. I would like to play in the Olympics too. That would be amazing.”

And Fierro is also looking forward to letting fans of the LPGA Tour get to know her and learn about her story, understanding the significance of the unique platform she now has in professional golf. Just as players like Lorena Ochoa, Gaby Lopez and Maria Fassi did for her, the 23-year-old hopes to inspire the next generation of golfers both in Mexico and beyond by being open and honest about what it took for her to reach the pinnacle of the women’s game and allowing her journey to the LPGA Tour to serve as an example of what can happen when you doggedly pursue your passion and dreams.

“(I want people to know) that everything is possible, and that life shouldn’t be perfect,” said Fierro. “You’re going to have difficulties in the way, but I feel that with passion and love for the game, anything is possible. I've been through surgeries. I went through being in a wheelchair for six months to not being able to play golf for a year and being one of the top amateur golfers in the world. I've been through very tough situations where I didn't even know if I was going to play golf anymore.

“Something that has been very clear since I was five years old is that I wanted to be the best player in the world on the LPGA Tour and to win majors and to be in the Hall of Fame and to play in the Olympics. That hasn't gone away. That's still my dream and even more. This is just the start. The LPGA Tour is not the end goal. It’s just the beginning. I can't wait to learn more and to enjoy this process and be all in.”