LPGA Player Erica Blasberg was found dead Sunday in her home near Las Vegas. She was 25.
Police did not offer a cause of death, but in an interview reported in the Riverside County Press Enterprise on May 10, Blasberg’s father, Mel Blasberg, was quoted saying, “At first glance it looks like she might have taken her own life, but at second glance, something is very, very strange about it. We’re waiting for the police to make an investigation.”
Blasberg was the medalist in the 2000 US Girls Junior Championships, and lost in the quarterfinals. She reached the quarterfinals of the 2004 US Women’s Amateur. At the University of Arizona, she was ranked #1 in the country as a freshman, was All-America in 2003 and 2004, NCAA Freshman of the Year in 2003, PAC-10 Player of the year in 2003 and had the NCAA Women’s lowest stroke average in 2004. She played on the Curtis Cup in 2004.
After leaving Arizona following her sophomore year to turn pro, she played on the Futures Tour in 2004, winning the Laconia Savings Bank Futures Golf Classic by breaking the Tour’s 18 hole scoring record with a 62. At the 2004 Q-School, she earned non exempt status.
The remainder of her pro career surely was something of a disappointment. In 2005, she finished 109 on the money list. In 2006, she also finished outside the top 100, but returned to regain her status at Q-School. In 2007, she finished 104 on the money list, but did not return to Q-School, moving her to non-exempt status for 2008. She managed to play 23 tournaments in 2009, but finished out of the top 100 again. Blasberg returned to the 2009 Q School, but withdrew after shooting rounds of 72 and 78.
Her father commented on her struggles in an interview last December:
“She hit the wall. And sometimes you’ve just got to stop what you’re doing and think about if this is what you want to do. If you’re not competitive in golf, and she wasn’t competitive the whole year, you have to ask yourself, ‘What is it going to take for me to be competitive?’ And that’s where she is. It’s not a question of talent; it’s a question of desire.”
I saw her at the Jamie Farr in 2009 and took the photo above. It’s a very sad story. Condolences to her friends and family.