LPGA player Erica Blasberg, 25, dies
Monday, May 10, 2010
Discussion boards: Share your memories of Erica Blasberg
The body of LPGA player Erica Blasberg was found Sunday afternoon at her home in Henderson, Nev., according to a police spokesman. She was 25.
No cause of death was disclosed, a spokeswoman for the Clark County Coroner’s Office told Golfweek, because of the pending investigation. However, Mel Blasberg, Erica's father, said in an interview reported by The Press-Enterprise of Riverside, Calif., that his daughter might have died by her own hand.
“At first glance, it looks like she might have taken her own life, but at second glance, something is very, very strange about it,” Mel Blasberg told the Press-Enterprise by phone from Nevada. “We're waiting for the police to make an investigation.
“Either way, I lost her and it's impossible to deal with.”
Chase Callahan, Erica Blasberg’s agent, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that investigators have given the family no indication of a cause of death and that results from blood tests won't be known for at least four weeks.
A memorial service has been scheduled for May 19 at Eagle Glen Country Club in Blasberg’s hometown of Corona, Calif.
In her only start this season, Blasberg tied for 44th two weeks ago at the Tres Marias Championship in Morelia, Mexico, after having Monday qualified.
Greg Allen, the former coach at the University of Arizona, remembers a fiery competitor whom the Wildcats affectionately called “Skip.” When Blasberg showed up to her first workout as a freshman in 2002, the trainer asked the team to warm up by skipping around the track. Blasberg didn’t know how to skip.
“Every kid in America knows how to skip,” Allen said, laughing at the memory. “We stuck that name on her.”
Blasberg was a decorated collegian, winning six tournaments in two years. She was named Golfweek’s 2003 Player of the Year after finishing the season No. 1 in the rankings. She also was ’03 NGCA Freshman of the Year, Pac-10 Player of the Year and competed on the victorious 2004 Curtis Cup team.
Blasberg was a solid ball-striker with a repeatable swing learned from her father, Mel. Allen remembers one time in particular when Blasberg couldn’t wait to compete. During her freshman year, Mel was staying at a hotel 10 minutes away from Blasberg’s dorm. She stayed with her father that night, got up early in the morning and headed to the course. It wasn’t until she couldn’t get inside the gate that Blasberg realized it was 2 a.m.
“That was classic Skip,” Allen said. “She couldn’t wait to get to the golf course for breakfast to tell us what she had done.”
Blasberg shot 68 that day to win the Arizona Wildcat Invitational.
Laura Ianello (nee Myerscough) was a senior when Blasberg burst onto the college scene as a freshman. Ianello, who now is an assistant coach at Arizona, said Blasberg was a “fireball” on the golf course but off of it, the ultimate girly girl, with painted nails and ribbons in her hair. She devoured gossip magazines such as In Touch and US Weekly on college trips.
“She had to have her mascara on before she’d step out of the hotel,” Ianello said.
Blasberg, a native of Orange, Calif., turned professional in June 2004, posting four top-10s in eight starts on the Duramed Futures Tour, including a victory at the Laconia Savings Bank Futures Golf Classic. She qualified for the LPGA later that fall.
Blasberg struggled on the LPGA, never finishing higher than 94th on the money list. Her career-low 64 on the LPGA came at the Welch’s/Fry’s Championship, back when she competed as an amateur on a sponsor exemption. Blasberg tended to keep to herself on tour, with Allen noting that it as hard for anyone to “get close to Skip.” She moved to Henderson four years ago.
While Blasberg never made the professional splash she hoped for, she did enjoy her stint as the face of Puma Golf, appearing in a television commercial. She also represented Cleveland Golf and Casio.
“She was part of our family for two years,” Allen said. “I can’t believe she’s gone.”
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