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Nevada prep champion sets sights on getting LPGA Tour card

Updated April 17, 2024 - 9:27 am

To say Ali Mulhall has had a dominant junior golf career would be a huge understatement.

Mulhall claimed the Nevada Class 5A individual state title playing for Coronado in the fall and was named player of the year in both Wyoming and Utah.

Now the 18-year-old is setting her sights on the ultimate prize: an LPGA Tour card.

Mulhall will bypass college in the fall and head to Q-School, where she’ll try to make it through three stages to earn the right to play against the top golfers in the world.

“I feel like my game is ready,” Mulhall said. “I just need to mature my mental side a little bit more.”

Mulhall’s game has been beyond good enough for the amateur ranks. She’s won an eye-popping 348 junior events, including 20 of the 26 she played in last year. She won the prestigious Drive, Chip &Putt competition at Augusta National in 2021 and placed third as the youngest competitor in the World Championship Long Drive competition in Japan in 2022.

Her distance is one thing that separates her from other players.

“Whenever you hit a drive that you know you just absolutely crushed, it’s a pretty good feeling,” Mulhall said.

Golf has been a part of her life as long as she can remember.

“My dad was a head professional in Wyoming, so I would just start going to work with him as soon as I could walk,” Mulhall said. “I fell in love with the game and the rest is history.”

Mulhall started swinging clubs at age 3 and started playing tournaments at 6.

“I fell in love with the game, the competitiveness, the drive, the grind to always get better,” Mulhall said, noting golf was the only sport she ever played. “I love golf. It was my one true love.”

Mulhall is now surrounded by the game. She and her family have relocated to Utah, where she continues her high school classes online and works at Black Desert Resort, the new course outside St. George that will host a PGA Tour event in the fall and an LPGA event starting in 2025.

Mulhall leads golf clinics for women and juniors, then uses the facility as her home course to hone her game.

“It gives me the opportunity to grow the women’s side of the game and also juniors,” Mulhall said. “And then they’ve allowed me to practice out there.”

Black Desert is happy to have her.

“Ali’s consistency and dedication to her craft have truly set her apart as one of the most promising young golfers in the region,” said Patrick Manning, managing partner at Black Desert Resort. “We are focused on providing her with the support she deserves to continue developing her rapidly evolving career on and off the course.”

The work does not impact Mulhall’s amateur status, allowing her to continue to play events leading up to Q-School in August. She can also keep her status through the first two stages, but would have to turn pro should she make it to the final stage in December.

That allows her to keep one card in her back pocket.

“I’m just taking a gap year this year, but I’m keeping my options open to play college,” Mulhall said.

Mulhall believes her time at Coronado, where the team won three straight state titles, helped her become a stronger player and develop perseverance.

“We didn’t ever stop,” Mulhall said. “We just kept trying to get better, which I think is really important.”

Boulder City Am

Greg Horodesky won a playoff on the first hole to take down Kamden Ganir in the Championship division at the Boulder City Amateur over the weekend. Both men finished at 3-under 141 at Boulder City Golf Club. Ganir forced the playoff with a birdie on the 18th hole Sunday to complete a 68, the low round of the tournament.

In the Senior division, James Corey overcame four bogeys on the back nine Sunday to finish at 5-over 149 for a two-shot win over Chris Whatley.

In the Silver division, Chris Cookson raced to a seven-stroke win, finishing at 2-under 142.

Other winners included Jason Berton (Championship net), Brian Freymueller (Senior net) and Bruce Chamberlain (Silver net).

Greg Robertson covers golf for the Review-Journal. Reach him at grobertson@reviewjournal.com.

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