Wednesday, 14 September 2011 22:34
courtesy lpga tour
(September 12, 2011 - Daytona Beach, FL) - Veteran Canadian pro IZZY BEISIEGEL of St. Hilaire, Quebec was named as the 2011 recipient of the Heather Wilbur Spirit Award.
The award is presented to an LPGA Futures Tour player who best exemplifies dedication, courage, perseverance, love of the game and spirit toward achieving goals as a professional golfer. The annual recipient is nominated by her Futures Tour peers.
“I’m really humbled by this and I certainly didn’t expect it,” said Beisiegel. “Through all the adversities, I couldn’t have done what I have done without the prayers and support from my friends and peers.”
Beisiegel launched her professional career on the Futures Tour in 2002-2003, before earning LPGA Tour membership from 2004-2007.
Her best finish on the Futures Tour was second place at the 2003 Lima Memorial Hospital Foundation Futures Classic in Lima, Ohio, and her best LPGA finish was a tie for seventh at the 2004 LPGA Kellogg-Keebler Classic.
The former University of Oklahoma player and Canadian National Team member posted three top-10 finishes this season with a tie for 5th at the Pennsylvania Classic in Harrisburg, Pa.
She also became the first woman to qualify for the Canadian Tour earlier this year. Beisiegel was unsuccessful in maintaining her playing privileges however, missing the cut in her four starts on the Canadian Tour.
Beisiegel, 32, was diagnosed in 2005 with a thyroid condition called Graves Disease. As she was treated for the condition, she put down her clubs for nearly one year.
But even as she worked in Oklahoma as a financial advisor and volunteer at The First Tee program, the Canadian decided she was not finished with her career. She returned to the Futures Tour in 2010 and began working her way back to tournament form.
“Isabelle embodies the characteristics to win this award, while being very gracious,” said last year’s Wilbur Award winner Mo Martin, who also nominated Beisiegel for the 2011 honor.
“It is impressive how she has been able to balance an additional career in business, as well as a dedicated marriage. Although her unprecedented success in qualifying for the men’s Canadian Tour is equally impressive, it has been her grace in the times she has failed … and her steady determination to continue that is the most impressive and deserving of this award.”
Beisiegel knew Wilbur and played golf with her on the Canadian Junior National Team. “Looking back, 2003 was the year I earned my card for the LPGA Tour,” she said. “That was the same year Heather passed away.”
The Futures Tour established a player award in October 2003, in honor of four-year Futures Tour member Heather Wilbur of Moncton, New Brunswick.
The Canadian professional lost an 11-month battle to Acute Myelogenic Leukemia (AML) at the age of 27. She joined the Futures Tour in 2000. Wilbur was named as the first recipient of the award in October 2003, prior to her death.
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