This season the Women’s All Pro Tour tournament will award spots into a corresponding Epson Tour event for the top two finishers. Additionally, the top five players on the season’s WAPT Player of the Year program will receive exemptions into Stage II of LPGA Q-School.
This week Ginger Howard (Bradenton, Florida) will make her first appearance since 2018 on the Epson Tour at the inaugural Copper Rock Championship thanks to a win at the Mackie Construction Professional Golf Classic at Abilene Country Club.
“It feels awesome, honestly, I know this is where I belong and it's great to be back at a new course this week. I mean, what a nice venue, it's awesome that you all found this gem here and we're able to play out here it's really neat,” said Howard.
“The people here very welcoming, I love it so I'm excited to keep playing this week. It was my first WAPT event and the opportunity for an exemption from there did not exist when I started on the Epson Tour, so it’s really great that there are more opportunities now.”
Prior to professional golf Howard got a start in her golf career with the American Junior Golf Association, like Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth and Epson Tour Graduate Inbee Park. While making friends and learning the ropes of a golf career, she was able to compete in the Junior Ryder Cup in 2000.
“They do a really good job of putting on events, giving you gifts and making you feel like it’s a professional event,” said Howard. “I remember playing in the upper-division events, suggested by my dad, but it was really competitive and got me ready for the next part of my career.”
During her time previously on the Epson Tour, Howard claimed five top-10 finishes. Her career best finish was T2 in 2012 at the Riviera Nayarit Classic. Since then, she has been working at a golf course in Florida, itching to be back competing. With the support of her friends and family, her win on the WAPT was recognized and celebrated all around and they are looking forward to cheering her on this week.
“I love my sisters. Shasta (Averyhardt) and Cheyenne (Woods) are so great and supportive. They've been telling me, ‘Come back down,” said Howard. “It's nice, I love the support. Even today I played with Gemma Dryburgh and Laetitia Beck who I went to IMG Academy with. It’s all a big family out here and it’s great to see everyone.”
DALTON BACK IN HER SECOND HOME
Brigham Young University alumna Kendra Dalton (Poughquag, New York) is playing this week in one of the featured groups at the Copper Rock Championship. Only a few hours south of Brigham Young University, where she was named West Coast Conference Player of the Year in 2017 and 2018, Dalton feels at her home away from home.
“It’s great to be back in Utah. I know we are a few hours away from BYU but we would host a tournament down here and spent a lot of time in the St. George are during the winter. It definitely brings back a lot of good memories,” said Dalton. “Originally I wasn’t being recruited for Division I, but I met coach Carrie and she gave me the opportunity to walk on.”
The three-time All-WCC selection and three-time individual medalist for the Cougars made three cuts in three starts to start the 2021 season. Dalton’s career best finish on the Epson Tour is tied for sixth at the Prasco Charity Championship. She also kept her game fresh during the Tour’s off-season a claimed multiple wins on the Cactus Tour in February.