Road to LPGA Tour Could Begin At Home Course

Published May 13, 2012 | By Mark Morrow

Brittany Kelly won't have to worry about packing her suitcase and making airline reservations. Not for a week, at least. The Fishers resident is coming home to play golf, and she won't have far to travel to the golf course.

And she won't need a road map to get around The Hawthorns Golf and Country Club, a challenging 18-hole, par-72 championship layout designed by world renowned architect Arthur Hills, when she tees off in the LPGA My Marsh Golf Classic May 28-June 3.

Brittany, who attended Hamilton Southeastern High School and graduated with academic honors in 2007, played many of her matches at The Hawthorns. She also qualified for her first U.S. Girls Junior, and was the Mid-American Conference runner-up while playing for Ball State University.

She's happy to be coming home. Her dad's happy, too. He's the varsity girls golf coach at Carmel High school. Ken Kelly coached both the boys and girls teams for five seasons, beginning in 2000-01,and then resigned to concentrate on the girls golf team. He has spent many summers carrying the bag for his daughter.

And he'll be on her bag for the LPGA Marsh Golf Classic.

"I'm excited to be here and to have dad on my bag again,'' said Brittany Kelly, who lives at home with her parents in Fishers when she's not on the road with the LPGA Symetra Tour.

"I can't tell you how rewarding it's been for my wife and I to see her progress through life in Golf. From nearly birth she's been saying ‘Watch me Daddy, watch this' . . . and I have been watching her and will keep watching her compete,'' said Ken Kelly. "Watching her hit hole in one shots, eagle putts, set high school records, win championships and set records at Ball State. And now she's playing an ever so challenging LPGA (Symetra) Futures Tour. She has given us so many fond memories.

"And now to be back with her and carrying the bag on a course we know so well, well . . . wow, it just doesn't get any better.''

Brittany would like to think playing The Hawthorns could work in her favor since she knows the course, and has had so much success there. "Helps to know where to hit ball, and be familiar with the greens . . . I loved it; it's in my hometown. It's a good thing for experience, but it's a little bit of pressure, too, with friends and family able to see me play. I just have to block out those things.''

Brittany, an All-American golfer who graduated from Ball State in 2011, reached the third and final round of the LPGA Q-School a Year ago. "Getting that far tells me that I'm close,'' she said. "I'm motivated to succeed.''

So far on the Symetra Tour, Brittany has played in two tournaments. She made the cut in one and missed playing on the weekend in the other by 2 strokes.

Some other of Brittany's highlights:

2011 First female golfer in Ball State history to be selected for the NCAA Central Regional.

2009 Women's State Amateur champion.

2006 Indiana Open Women's Open champ.

2006 State runner-up in high school.

2005 Indiana Junior Age Group champion.

Work experience: American Junior Golf Association, Indiana Junior Golf, Fort Wayne TinCaps, The Golf Channel, NBC Sports, Crooked Stick Golf Club, and Golf365.

Asked what she might do after golf, there was no pause, no time needed to think. Brittany said she can't see herself doing anything but being around golf . . . forever, she hopes.

"When my golfing days end or something else inspires me to move forward, in a different way, I think I would like to teach the game, and work with young kids, and hopefully be able to pass along some of my experiences.

And what will she do when she hopefully earns that elusive LPGA card?

"Well, for one thing,'' she said with a slight chuckle, "I think I might see my dad even more often . . . I'm sure he might retire and be my caddy . . . full time. That would be really neat. Dad knows my game better than anyone . . . and we'd make a really good team.''

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Marsh Supermarkets, the Hamilton County Sports Authority and the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) will host the Symetra Tour event - Road to the LPGA.

The inaugural $100,000 purse event will directly benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association, a nonprofit health agency dedicated to curing muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases. . . . 10 percent of ticket sales purchased at Marsh will benefit MDA.

Tickets are $10 Daily & $25 for the weekend; youth 16 and under are FREE with the purchase of an adult ticket.

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