SYLVANIA, Ohio — In early July, world-class golfers from the LPGA make their way to Highland Meadows Golf Course in Sylvania for the Marathon Classic. Among those world-class golfers are the likes of Lexi Thompson, Brooke Henderson, and Anna Redding. Between Thompson and Henderson, they present a pair of golfers who are well known for their success as they have registered 20 professional wins on the LPGA tour. As for perhaps the lesser-known name in Redding, she is just now scratching the surface.
Just over two months ago, Redding was walking across the stage at the University of Virginia in her cap and gown, grasping her diploma in hand. Now, Redding is walking across the greens at fairways at Highland Meadows with her golf clubs, playing in her first ever LPGA tournament.
“At first, I was not sure it was real. (Marathon Classic Tournament Director) Judd (Silverman) called me. ‘I’ve got a question for you.’ And I was like, ‘OK?'” Redding said, smiling ear-to-ear recalling the moment. “He was like,'How would it feel if you didn’t have to play the Monday qualifier?’ And I was like, ‘That would be great! … but what are you saying here?' He was like, ‘I have another sponsor’s invite and I would like to extend it to you.'”
“I will be there! Absolutely,” she said when describing her acceptance response. “It was incredible. It was a dream come true. So, I turned professional and here I am!”
Being back in Ohio is somewhat of a homecoming for Redding. Her father, Mark, a native of the suburbs of Columbus, was a four-time letter winner on the Ohio State University tennis team. Her mother, Andrea, an Akron native, was a two-time letter-winner for the Youngstown State volleyball team.
Although Redding was born in Concord, North Carolina, she was quick to admit that she was fond of the Buckeye State.
“Both my parents are from Ohio. I have always grown up a Buckeye and we come up here a lot,” she said. “We still have an uncle of mine that lives in the area. We have always been Ohio fans.”
Her friends and family are making yet another trip up north to Ohio, this time to see her professional debut. And as for what’s running through her mind as she nears teeing off her professional career, it is more excitement than nerves.
“If I am being honest -- a little bit more excited than nervous for sure. I have some really great friends and family that are going to come out and support me this week and be here for me,” she said. “I am just so excited. This is what I have been working for. To be competing at an LPGA event for my first professional event is really special.”