LPGA rookie Kassidy Teare is living her dream at the Kia Classic

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LPGA rookie Kassidy Teare is living her dream at the Kia Classic

LPGA Tour

LPGA rookie Kassidy Teare is living her dream at the Kia Classic

CARLSBAD, Calif. – Kassidy Teare grew up 10 minutes from Aviara Golf Club. She’d get lessons on the range here from Ted Norby and imagine what it would be like to compete on the LPGA in her hometown. The Kia Classic is quite literally a dream scenario for Teare, a 24-year-old rookie who made her first cut at an LPGA event this week.

“I think when I’m picturing myself playing professionally it was like this week is what plays in my mind,” she said. “My friends, family are there; the ropes are there; the cameras are there.”

It’s all real this time, including the cheers from the gallery. Holland Shourds, a Long Beach State sophomore, even asked Teare to autograph her arm after the second round. Teare (pronounced “tier”) graduated from Long Beach State in 2016 and then worked as an assistant coach there to help fund her playing career.

Kassidy Teare

When her fans got loud during a during a post-round interview on Friday, Teare laughed and shook her head.

“That’s my family,” she said. “It’s so embarrassing.” 

In high school, Teare played Aviara only on special occasions, maybe a dozen times total. The Kia Classic certainly counts as special, with loved ones coming from as far away as Canada to watch her compete. 

Her 26-year-old brother, Kolby, is on the bag, having quit his job in finance to help make this a go. 

“My family seriously is all in,” she said. 

Teare, a late-bloomer compared to most, worked her way through the Symetra Tour, helping out at Long Beach State and picking up design jobs when she could. But to make it work at the next level, she needed even more help to cover what it costs to travel to places like the Bahamas, Australia and Phoenix in her first three starts.  

She started a gofundme page in January and has raised $3,165 thus far, not quite halfway to her goal of $8,000. Her family won’t let money be the reason this dream dies.

“At one point you’re just like, we’re going to go in debt and give it all we’ve got,” said Teare. “I can’t dedicate myself and have a full-time job at the same time, so we made a decision, and we’re going to do this for as long as we can.” 

Named Big West Conference Player of the Year her senior season, Teare is the only player from Long Beach State on the LPGA. Last December, she birdied her final five holes to shoot 6-under 66 and earn her card at LPGA Q-School. Teare had never even attended an LPGA event until she arrived in the Bahamas last January. 

Fellow Long Beach State teammates say they knew the tenacious Teare had the talent to play on the biggest stage. Head coach Joey Cerulle called her “The General” in college because of the way she took charge. 

This is awesome,” said Shourds, “because now we have someone that has been through the process that we can shadow and tell us what we need to do.”

Teare wears a gold pendant with the coordinates 33.12 N; 117.32 W around her neck. That’s the spot on the cliffs in Carlsbad where fiancé Tyler Glick proposed last July. Glick gave Teare the necklace on her birthday March 7 to take the place of her engagement ring while on the course. As Teare travels the world for the first time, she’ll carry this place and these people close to her heart. 

Life doesn’t often turn out as pictured. But for Teare, one week in Carlsbad came gloriously close.

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