LIVERPOOL’S Emma Goddard is gearing up for life on the Ladies European Tour next month after securing her card at Qualifying School in Morocco.
The 23-year-old from Halewood finished in a share for 13th at Final Qualifying in Marrakech to grab one of the 30 coveted tour places.
Just to get through pre-qualifying was my aim so to actually secure a full tour card is just incredible. It’s what I’ve always wanted, said Emma.
She made a nervy start and was four-over-par after six holes at Lalla Aicha (check) but a back nine of just 30 got her right back into contention and she led the field after the third of five rounds.
That was my best ever nine holes of golf and I was always comfortably inside the top 30 after that so it was nice to not be under too much pressure, added the 2013 and 2014 Cheshire Ladies champion.
Emma, who turned down an American scholarship to stay closer to her Liverpool roots, turned professional immediately after the event.
The former plus three amateur’s first event will be back in Morocco again at the end of March.
She plans to play in a minimum of 19 events throughout the 2015 season and is looking forward to joining friends Charlotte Thompson and Alex Peters on the big stage. My aim is to finish in the top 80 in my rookie season and to guarantee my card for 2016.
I hope to gain as much experience as possible and then push on after that, explained the sales assistant at Macdonald Portal, in Cheshire.
Sports-mad Emma, who started playing as an eight-year-old at Allerton Park, is attached to Royal Liverpool and spends her time between the famous links, Portal and Clays Golf Centre, near Wrexham where she has regular lessons with her coach Maureen Madill.
The former Cheshire and England star is renowned for her scrambling ability but puts her recent success down to her vastly improved iron play. It’s down to hard work, a couple of swing changes and some new irons, said the Evertonian.
The former Everton Ladies footballer had to give up the game to focus on her golf and it’s proved a wise decision.
Emma, who holds the ladies course record of 66 at Royal Liverpool, said: I just can’t wait to get started. I’m really looking forward to every event, but particularly South Africa later on in the year. It’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit.
My dad Tony will caddy for me in my opening event in Morocco and my mixed foursomes partner Martin Thomas, who is a Royal Liverpool member, has volunteered to help out as well when I need him.
Everyone is absolutely delighted that I managed to get my card as they all know it’s been a lifelong ambition.
ÒIÕm having a party at Royal Liverpool next month. It will be my way of saying thank you to the golf club for their support and also to everyone involved with the county team that have had such an influence on me over the years, said the Royal Liverpool ladies club champion.
Emma is looking for sponsorship at the minute and has sent letters out to numerous local companies looking for some support. It’s not a cheap business going off on tour for a year and I’ll continue to work part-time as a sales assistant at Portal. I can’t worry too much about the money side of things at this point. The fact that I have got my Ladies European Tour card is just incredible. It still hasn’t sunk in yet. I have to keep pinching myself.