In her sophomore season on the “Road to the LPGA,” Bailey Tardy (Norcross, Georgia) has been named the 2020 Epson Rising Star to cap a breakout year. The honor is awarded to the player who has shown the most progress from one season to the next.
Tardy finished at No. 88 in the 2019 Volvik Race for the Card with $13,714 season earnings. This year, the University of Georgia alumna has already collected $40,128 across nine starts and is currently No. 4 in the Volvik Race for the Card with only the Epson Tour Championship remaining.
“I worked really hard in the offseason to get my game where it is this season,” said Tardy, the 2016 SEC Freshman of the Year. “The first tournament in Winter Haven, I didn’t play well and it felt like somewhat of a setback because I knew I had been practicing so hard. To not see results immediately in competition was kind of a letdown but then I knew what I had to work on.”
Since the Florida’s Natural Charity Classic in March, Tardy has not missed a cut and claimed four top-10 finishes along the way. That includes a career-best result of runner-up in the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship at Battle Creek Country Club thanks to rounds of 72-67-66.
“I worked a lot on my mental game too; between my confidence and how I view my game and swing, I struggled a lot on that last year,” Tardy said. “I made a swing coach change to Scott Hamilton, but a combination of that and having my mom on the bag has helped. She knows nothing about golf, but we just have fun out there. We have a good time, she keeps me loose out there. It is nice to have a familiar face during high-pressure situations.”
As part of the Epson Rising Star award, the player receives $1,500 and an additional $1,000 is donated to charity. Tardy selected the Susan G. Komen Foundation and American Brain Tumor Association as her charities of choice, splitting the donation between the two organizations, to show support for her aunt who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and a close family member fighting brain cancer.
Tomorrow, Tardy will head off No. 1 tee at 10:20 a.m. ET in the first round of the Epson Tour Championship with Kim Kaufman (Clark, South Dakota) and Ana Belac (Portoroz, Slovenia).
- Race for the Card