As far as sports go, Indiana is more known for its star basketball and football players than it is for professional golfers. However, there’s at least one links pro who resides in Noblesville, Indiana: Ashley Prange, reality show star, former LPGA professional, and no stranger to a fast green. Born in November of 1981 in Newport Beach, California, Ashley Prange began playing golf at the age of 4. Prange traveled across the country to attend college at the University of North Carolina, where she first embarked on her successful golfing career. While at the University of North Carolina, Prange notched fifteen finishes in the top ten and won two collegiate tournaments. Her accomplishments didn’t go unrecognized, either; she was an All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection three times, a NCAA All America Honorable Mention in 2003, and a NCAA First Team All America in 2004, her senior year.
Prange went professional in 2005, when she competed in her first Duramed FUTURES tour. In her first FUTURES tour, she finished in 37th place with an average score of 73.4. The golfer from Noblesville would go on to play in each FUTURES tour up until 2010, but her best year came in 2006, when she paced first in two events (the Greater Tampa Futures Classic in Riverview, Florida and the Horseshoe Casino Futures Golf Classic in Hammond, Indiana), racked up six top ten finishes, and finished in fifteenth place by score.
|Video of an interview with Noblesville, Indiana resident Ashley Prange and her sister, Amber Prange, at the 2010 Qualifying Tournament|
Ashley Prange‘s big break would come two years after earning her college degree in Marketing and Advertising. She managed to land a spot on The Big Break V: Hawaii, a reality show on the Golf Channel that pit eleven female golfers against one another in a no holds barred links showdown. Through eleven grueling weeks of challenges, Prange held on until it was down to her and her rival, Jeanne Cho. In the twelfth week, Ashley Prange finally claimed victory after a series of Cho’s mistakes led her to one of the widest victory margins in The Big Break history.
The victory on The Big Break would lead to Ashley Prange’s acceptance into the LPGA, America’s top golfing league. She competed in the 2007 U.S. Women’s Open Championship, but didn’t compete well enough to keep her LPGA membership. Nevertheless, she continues to compete in the FUTURES tour and in other professional tours; in 2010, she made an appearance at seventeen different tournaments. Her most successful 2010 endeavors were the Historic Brownsville Open (finished in a tie for ninth place), the Falls Auto Group Classic in Kentucky (finished in a tie for seventh), and The International at Concord, in which she finished in a tie for fifth.
|Video interview with Noblesville, Indiana resident Ashley Prange and several other LPGA golfers after the Price Chopper Tour Championship, the last event in the 2010 Duramed FUTURES tour.|
Now a resident of Noblesville, Indiana, Ashley Prange would do well to take advantage of the sterling Indiana golf courses dotting the Hoosier state to stay sharp on her game. Though she didn’t stay in the LPGA for long, there’s no telling how long it will be before Ashley Prange gets back into the professional circuit. If her 2010 appearances are any indicator, Prange should return to the LPGA before too much time goes by. Another famous person from Noblesville who had made an impact in athletics, Ashley Prange is a Noblesville sports figure who never gives up, and she’s got the track record to prove it.
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