Former Lawrence Central, IU star joining LPGA Tour

Danah Bordner, a former Lawrence Central and IU star, is finally an LPGA Tour player at age 30. / LPGA Futures TourDanah Bordner, 30, is the eldest member of the LPGA Tour Class of 2011.

Danah Bordner won't make her debut as an LPGA Tour member for another four weeks. That's not soon enough for her father and brother, Denny and Ryan Ford, and the members of their Sunday choose-up at PGA Village in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

"We're about to kick her out. She takes all our money," said Denny Ford, who spends most of the year in Indianapolis, where, with Ryan, he manages Pleasant Run and Sarah Shank golf courses.

The eye opener came on a wind-raked Dec. 26. Danah played a choose-up with Denny, Ryan and 13 other club professionals, many of them accomplished players. Everyone played the same set of tees. Danah shot 69. None of the guys shot lower than 74. Denny and Ryan had 75s.

"My buddy told me next time I needed to ask her for shots," said Ryan, three years Danah's senior. "I will never ask my sister for shots." Bordner, 30, is the eldest member of the LPGA Tour Class of 2011. She has paid her professional dues since winning the 2004 Big Ten women's championship as an Indiana University senior.

She rebuilt her swing during six years of scanty paydays on the LPGA Futures Tour. She overcame two herniated disks in her neck that limited her practice and play for three of those seasons. She fought through a personal tragedy, the cancer death of her best friend at IU.

"It hasn't been without a lot of struggle," said Bordner, a Lawrence Central High School graduate. "It's made me a stronger person. I know I can compete out there."

The problem is she won't have a chance to begin showing it for another month. The Founders Cup, March 18-20 in Phoenix, is the LPGA's first full-field event of 2011 and the first Bordner will play.

She testified to the state of her game during the final round of the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament in December. With temperatures in the mid-50s, rain and wind gusting to 30 mph, her 4-under-par 68 was the day's lone sub-70 round. It lifted her from a tie for 27th to a share of fourth. It won playing privileges on the 2011 tour.

"Everything she's worked on in her golf swing the last five years has been to give her maximum control over her ball flight, no matter what the conditions," said Steve Bordner, Danah's husband and a PGA teaching professional who was one of those drubbed in the Dec. 26 choose-up.

Bordner's status assures her of entry into only about a dozen tour events. If she plays well, that number will expand and she will attempt to qualify for the U.S. Women's Open, British Women's Open and the Evian Masters. Her objective is a top-80 finish on the money list to assure fully exempt status in 2012.

In the meantime, she is working with Marius Filmater, a putting coach whose dozens of tour clients include Tiger Woods and Ernie Els. She will stay sharp by playing some Futures and mini-tour events, an effort that last month took her to Taiwan, where she played three tournaments on the Ladies Asian Tour, with top-12 finishes in the Taiwan and Taifong ladies opens.

"It's probably a good thing I left the country for a month," said Bordner, who looks forward to her dad's next choose-up. "I took quite a bit of money off them."

Call Star reporter Phil Richards at (317) 444-6408.

 

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