Hastings native’s first LPGA event is Meijer Classic

Sports

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Rewind back to 2016 when Gabrielle Shipley was still a Grand Valley State Laker golf team member. She played out her senior campaign, earning the 2016 NCAA Division II National Championship.

That title ignited her ambition to become a member of the LPGA. For the last three years, she has battled the tests of getting through the different levels of LPGA qualifying school.

On Monday, she reached her goal. Shipley was victorious in the qualifying tournament at Boulder Creek Golf Club, making her eligible for this week’s Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give at Blythefield Country Club in Belmont.

Now that the moment has come, Shipley doesn’t feel overwhelmed. Instead, she is excited.

“Come the first round, I need to stick to what I know I can do,” she told 24 Hour News 8. “I don’t want to do anything I’m uncomfortable with or anything I haven’t practiced before. … I need to keep doing what I’ve been doing my whole life and it will be a great weekend.”

She was one of two golfers who advanced from the qualifying tournament at Boulder Creek. Shipley shot a 3-under-par 69 to win it.

She’s pleased her first LPGA appearance will be in metro Grand Rapids.

“It’s in my backyard, basically,” the Hastings native said. “This being the first one I’ve ever played in and it being right here at home I think makes it extra special.”

Shipley familiar with the Classic. The last time she was at it, she was working. She had internships with Blythefield in the pro shop, where she would help set things up and run the merchandise tent. She said it will be surreal to be playing in the sixth annual tournament.

“Putts started dropping (Monday) and I was hitting it well,” Shipley said. “It was just awesome and is a dream come true.”

While this was a large stepping stone for the former Laker, she has her sights set on improving with each competition.

“Out here, you have to do more than just hit the greens,” Shipley said. “You have to be tighter to the hole and misses need to be better … and just constantly making putts. …Continuing to work my putting and approaches to the green will keep me out here.”

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