OLE MISS

Gleadall Gets Taste For Caddying

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Thumbnail image for Gleadall_Natalie040712d_RKJ.JPGFormer Ole Miss women's golfer Natalie Gleadall is used to hitting golf balls, not carrying golf bags. After missing out on qualifying for the LPGA Manulife Financial Classic on July 8, Gleadall bumped into friend Laura Diaz, a 15-year veteran on the LPGA Tour. Diaz then asked Gleadall to be her caddy for the week at the tournament. What followed would be an inspiring and exciting experience Gleadall won't forget.

Diaz joined the LPGA in 1999 and has won more than $5 million and two LPGA tournaments throughout her career. She has played on four U.S. Solheim Cup teams, and will serve as an assistant captain at this year's event in Parker, Colo.

Gleadall met Diaz last summer and the two kept in touch via email. Having never caddied before at an LPGA event, Gleadall had to think about the decision to caddy for a little bit before finally agreeing.

Diaz teed off just after noon Thursday with Katie Futcher and Lauren Doughtie, whose caddy, Chad Smalley, just happened to be a good family friend of Gleadall's. Diaz carded a 1-under-par 70 in the first round, and an even-par 71 in the second round, missing the cut by two strokes.

While Diaz and Gleadall didn't make it to the weekend, Gleadall said she learned a lot about staying calm and patient on the course, playing to her strengths, and the importance of being comfortable in her shots. Diaz showed in her round, Gleadall said, that you can never give up in golf because you never know when you will get on a roll.

"I walk away from this week feeling so inspired and ready to get back to work," Gleadall said. "I am so excited to see what the future has in store."

Gleadall has played primarily on the SunCoast Ladies Tour this year. In 16 events (38 rounds), Gleadall has a stroke average of 73.65 and has earned more than $16,000.

Among her best SunCoast Ladies Tour finishes, Gleadall finished tied for 11th at Orange Tree Country Club, tied for seventh at Timacuan, eighth at the LPGA International Champions, and third at the Harmony Golf Preserve.

On the Canadian Women's Tour, Gleadall finished tied for sixth at Beach Grove Golf Club, 10th at Ambassador Golf Club, and tied for seventh at the PGA of Canada Women's Championship.

Gleadall graduated from Ole Miss following the 2011-12 season.


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