Ashlan Ramsey has a very bright future in professional golf, but the past couple months have been a bit trying.
The 19-year-old turned pro in June, coming off a more than 1-year-long stretch during which she was the top-ranked amateur female golfer in the world according to Golfweek's ratings. Unfortunately, during a November tune-up tournament, prepping for LPGA Q-School, Ramsey "noticed back pain and pain going down my leg that wouldn't go away," she told us.
That prevented her from playing her best at Q-School, but not from looking forward to the year that's coming.
"It's been very frustrating trying to get rid of the pain and be able to do my normal activities again," she said.
Still, Ashlan is optimistic about 2015, which will be her first full season as a pro. In the early part of the year, she plans on playing in LPGA Monday qualifiers, and then the Symetra Tour once that tour gets its season started.
Much still depends on her back, and also on finances. She's been working two jobs to save money for entry fees and travel expenses. (You can help her out by visiting her page on GoFundMe.com.)
"I'm optimistic that I will get back to playing and working out again soon and I can't wait!" she told us.
Ashlan turned pro coming off a short but very productive stay on the Clemson University golf team (where her older sister Taylor will be a junior on the golf team this year). As a freshman, Ashlan led the team in stroke average, was twice a winner and twice runner-up, and posted six Top 10 finishes.
That record helped her earn a spot on the American Curtis Cup team, which won the 2014 match over Great Britain & Ireland by a 13-7 score. It's an experience she counts as her greatest in golf so far in her young life.
"I told my dad the summer before my senior year of high school that I wanted to make that team and he told me it would take a lot of hard work and even still I couldn't count on making it because it was all based off the committee's selection," she said. "To have all my hard work pay off for me was one of the most exhilarating moments of my golf career. And to have my family in St. Louis watching us play is something I will cherish my entire life."
Before heading to Clemson, Ramsey was a two-time AJGA All-American and the Georgia State Golf Association's Women's and Girls' Player of the Year.