TOLEDO, Ohio – It’s safe to say that Jodi Ewart Shadoff and Holly Clyburn make a good team. They never lost when paired together for England four years ago at the UL International Crown. They practice together in Orlando, mostly at ChampionsGate where both take lessons from David Leadbetter.
Now, with the Symetra Tour off this week, Clyburn is toting the bag for her friend of 17 years. Ewart Shadoff currently holds a share of the lead at 5-under 139 along with Solheim Cup teammate Celine Boutier and Danielle Kang on a rainy day at Inverness Club. Ewart Shadoff said her regular caddie will meet up with her in Scotland.
Leaderboard: LPGA Drive On Championship
“I think we got the best end of the draw by the looks of it,” said Ewart Shadoff. It sprinkled a bit on Ewart Shadoff and Boutier on the front nine and started coming down with authority on their last five holes. Kang teed off around the same time her closest competitors were finishing up.
Tee shots will held at a premium this afternoon.
“The rough is pretty bad with the rain on it right now, even just the semi cut,” said Ewart Shadoff. “You have to club up at least one. So it’s going to be interesting how it plays this afternoon, I think.”
Jodi Ewart Shadoff and her caddy, fellow professional Holly Clyburn, read a putt on the 9th hole during the first round of the LPGA Drive Championship at Inverness Club. (Photo: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports)
With the 2021 Solheim Cup being held next year at Inverness, a leaderboard peppered with American and European players gives everyone somewhat of a taste of what’s to come.
Boutier, a 26-year-old Frenchwoman who went 4-0 in her Solheim Cup debut last fall at Gleneagles, won two tournaments in Texas during the LPGA’s extended break. She tried to stay within driving distance of her Dallas home. Boutier won both the Texas Women’s Open as well as the Kathy Whitworth Paris Championship, a Women’s All-Pro Tour event. The competitions helped keep her motivated during the LPGA’s five-month break.
“You know when you don’t have tournaments for three months,” she said, “sometimes you don’t even want to go to the course.”
Ewart Shadoff, 32 first qualified for the LPGA in 2011 and is still looking for her first tour title. Boutier broke through on the LPGA last February at the ISPS Handa Vic Open. Boutier played four times on the LPGA before the tour was suspended and recorded three top 10s. Ewart Shadoff played twice, finishing tied for 19th and tied for 10th.