Both winners on professional golf’s top developmental tours Sunday were Treasure Valley natives.
Both picked up their first tour victories, too. Tyler Aldridge, a Vallivue High graduate and former Boise State golfer, won the Greater Dallas Open in Lewisville, Texas. Madeleine Shiels, a Bishop Kelly High graduate, was first at the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship in Battle Creek, Mich.
“How great is that?” Sheils said. “I mean, there’s only so many of us from Idaho. So awesome.”
Both vaulted into the top 10 on their respective tours’ money lists — Aldridge from 38th to ninth, and Sheils from 24th to 10th. The top 25 at the end of the season on the Web.com Tour get their PGA cards, while the top 10 of the Symetra Tour get onto the LPGA Tour.
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Aldridge fired a 23-under 265, entering Sunday with the lead and holding it most of the final round. He earned $90,000. His top Web.com finish prior to the event was as runner-up in the 2009 Utah Championship.
“Nobody’s going to hand you the tournament,” Aldridge said. “You have to go get it. … It’s hard to win a golf tournament. It’s very difficult. I felt some nerves out there, but who doesn’t? That’s what we play for.”
Sheils picked up $15,000 and earned an additional $3,000 for it being a Potawatomi Cup event. She shot a 10-under 206, only missing two greens Sunday.
“It’s such a relief, letting me know my hard work is paying off,” Sheils said. “I have so many supporters in Boise, so it was great to win for them, too. Everything just felt natural, it all just came together. It’s a really big moment. I can’t just hold steady, I have to get a couple more wins and make sure I’m comfortably in that top 10.”