Dec. 7, 2004
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Possibly the two most prolific golfers in University of Wyoming golf history have each qualified to play the sport at it's highest level in 2005. David Hearn, of Brantford, Ontario, earned his PGA Tour card after 108 holes at the PGA Tour National Qualifying Tournament this last Monday, while Jordan (Lintz) Cherebetiu, of Rapid City, S.D., earned her LPGA Tour card at the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament last Sunday. Both golfers gained exempt status for their respective tours during the 2005 season.
Hearn, who played at UW from 1998-2001, tied for 21st of 170 hopefuls with a six-round total of 424, eight under par in one of the most pressure-packed tournaments in golf. The top 26 and ties, totaling 35 players, are fully exempt for the PGA Tour in 2005. The qualifying tournament began last Wednesday at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif.
While at Wyoming, Hearn qualified three straight years for the NCAA West Regional Tournament, the only UW golfer to ever accomplish that feat. He was named to the 2001 All-Mountain West Conference team and had three top 10 conference tournament finishes during his collegiate career.
"We have kept in touch with David since he left UW and are very proud of his accomplishment," said current UW head men's golf coach Joe Jensen. "Having someone who came through UW make the PGA really says a lot about the program here. David has been very supportive of our program and is proud to be a Cowboy.
"Having Jordan and David, both from UW, make their respective tours shows that you can come here and be very successful. It has really excited our current players."
Cherebetiu, formerly Lintz, played for the Cowgirls from 1997-2000. She finished 24th at the qualifying tournament with a 90-hole, five round total of 361, one over par. A field of 137 players competed for 30 exempt cards and 35 non-exempt cards. The field was made up of 60 players from the LPGA Sectional Qualifying Tournaments, 10 players from the Futures Tour money list and 68 current LPGA Tour members attempting to regain or improve their status. The LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament took place from December 1-5, 2004, at LPGA International Legends and Champions courses, in Daytona Beach, Fla.
The 2000 MWC Tournament individual title winner, Cherebetiu left Wyoming as the best female golfer in school history. She also qualified for the NCAA West Regional Tournament as a senior, and had six top 10 finishes her final year at UW.
"It is a pretty rewarding feeling after what I've been through this last year," said Cherebetiu. "It hasn't completely sunk in yet that I am exempt.
"I've been going through a lot of changes to my game over the last year, and I finally felt really good in September at the qualifying tournament in Venice, Fla. This is as confident as I've ever been in my game.
"I really enjoyed my time at Wyoming. It was nice that I was close to my family, and I liked the small-town environment. While at UW I played against a lot of the players that I'm currently playing against and gained some great experience."
After graduating from UW with a degree in exercise and sport science, Cherebetiu took an internship in Tampa, Fla. at a golf and tennis resort, turned pro and met and married her husband. She joined the Futures Tour, the official development tour of the LPGA, in 2001 and played in tournaments through 2003. A six month layoff from the game followed, which helped Jordan refocus on the sport, make changes to her playing style and begin enjoying the sport again. She credits her coaches, caddy and husband for her improvement over the last year.
"With the format as it exists right now, qualifying for the tour is one of the toughest things that a golfer could do," said UW head women's golf coach Jill Rettinger. Rettinger coached Cherebetiu at Wyoming from 1998-2000. "She had to play in several tournaments which were spread over the last few months and only 30 individuals earned the exemption. We are so proud of Jordan and what she has accomplished."