Las Vegas, Nevada (May 11, 2010)–Today the Las Vegas golf community and golf community, in general, is mourning the loss of LPGA Tour golfer Erica Blasberg, who moved to the Las Vegas area a few years ago. Blasberg played collegiately at the University of Arizona and then moved to the Las Vegas area and lived in the Vegas suburb of Henderson, where she became a part of the community, playing and practicing at TPC Las Vegas and, most recently, at the private Southern Highlands Golf Club. She was 25.–By Brian Hurlburt.
According to Henderson Police Spokesperson Keith Paul, authorities received a 911 call around 3:15 PM on Sunday afternoon. She was found in her home in Anthem Country Club. Police are currently in the process of a death investigation, according to Paul. And according to Southern Highlands Director of Golf Jay Beckman, Blasberg was scheduled to be in Alabama today to qualify for this weekend's LPGA Tour Bell Micro LPGA Classic. Beckman says she was a regular at Southern Highlands, where for the last two weeks she was practicing hard and getting ready for several Monday qualifiers on tour. "Erica was a very important part of the Southern Highlands family," said Beckman, a close friend. "Not only was she a great person but she was a great golfer, and she will be deeply missed."
Blasberg could also be spotted at local events to benefit worthy causes including Danny Gans' Partee Fore Kids to benefit the First Tee of Southern Nevada, and also the VegasGolfer Magazine Fairway Awards which honored the best courses and golfers in Las Vegas. Blasberg also had an official website which displayed her love of life and golf. "The most rewarding part of being a professional golfer are the wonderful fans I meet," reads the text on the front page. "My website is designed to allow all my fans and friends to know what's going on, learn a little more about me , ask questions and show you how to become a member of my fan club … The theme that runs throughout is best expressed with the Japanese letters you see around my name, which is the symbol for peace and harmony, and it's one of the many ancient Kanji symbols which depicts the beauty of human life, through images."
Chase Callahan issued the following statement: "We are devastated to learn of the passing of Erica Blasberg. To most of the world, Erica was known as a professional golfer, but she was more than that. She was a loving daughter to her parents and a compassionate and loyal friend. Erica had a good heart, was extremely kind and very thankful for what she had in her life. She lived out her dream of playing professional golf on the highest level on the LPGA Tour, allowing her to help inspire others. We are proud of Erica for everything she accomplished. This is a painful loss, we feel it in our hearts and we will miss her. Erica would want those close to her to celebrate the life she lived. We ask that you keep Erica and her family in your prayers."
According to an LPGA Tour press release, Blasberg turned professional in June of 2004 and won once on the Duramed FUTURES Tour before qualifying for the LPGA Tour in 2005. Her best year on Tour was 2008 when she earned a career-best tie for eighth at the SBS Open in Hawaii and over $113,000 in winnings. This season, Blasberg had played in one event, the Tres Marias Championship, where she tied for 44th. Blasberg, a Southern California native, was in her sixth season on the LPGA Tour. A former junior golf standout, the 25-year-old was a two-time All-American from 2003-04, 2003 NCAA Freshman of the Year and 2003 Pac-10 Player of the Year while at University of Arizona.
Also, Blasberg was a former host of the Erica Blasberg Corporate Invitational which was played in 2006 and 2007, and raised funds for The Foundation for Community and Family Health. The event was held in Corona, California, and fellow LPGA Tour pros, athletes and celebrities attended the tournament. Fellow LPGA Tour pros and Las Vegas golfers Kim Hall and Stephanie Louden played in the 2007 event according to an LPGA.com article. Hall currently lives in Las Vegas while Louden grew up in Las Vegas before moving to Texas a few years ago. More details to follow as they become available in addition to details about a fund being set up in Erica's name to benefit junior golf. EDITOR's NOTE: This writer knew Erica through her attendance at local golf events, including playing golf with her in a pro-am benefiting The First Tee of Southern Nevada. Her smiles and cheerful personality, in addition to willingness to help a cause, will be deeply missed. She was a precious part of the Las Vegas golf community. The thoughts and prayers of GolfLasVegasNow.com go out to her friends and family.