Whitney Wade is poised to make the jump to the LPGA Tour.
A Glasgow, Ky., native, Wade is currently fourth on the Duramed Futures Tour money list, and a promotion to women's golf's highest tour is in sight.
Wade said she has what it takes to compete at such a high level, even though her average drive is only about 220 yards. (However, it finds the fairway 83 percent of the time.)
Perhaps most important to her LPGA aspirations: "I never stop playing," said Wade.
Wade turned pro in 2007 after a career at the University of Georgia in which she earned first-team All-Southeastern Conference four times.
Since then, she said it's been golf non-stop.
On Aug. 7, Wade entered the Falls Auto Group Classic in London, Ky. A 54-hole tournament, Wade finished 5- under par, tied for ninth.
Immediately after her round Aug. 9 — what Wade called "one of the hottest rounds I've played all year" — she packed up and drove almost 350 miles to Defiance, Ohio, to tee off that Monday morning in the Ohio Women's Open.
"When I make it to the LPGA, I'm going to be playing a lot of golf," Wade said. "I want to get used to that."
Wade finished second in the Ohio Women's Open, even par for the two-day tournament. Wade won the tournament in 2008.
After her finish in Ohio, she traveled to Richmond, Va. for the Futures Tour's Impact Classic.
"Every week on the tour, we do a pro-am Wednesday morning," Wade said before the Virginia tournament. "In Richmond, I think I'm going to pull a WD and withdraw.
"Whoever would get paired with me wouldn't want to be playing with me. I'd be a zombie."
Indeed, Wade arrived in Richmond in time for a Thursday morning practice round. She finished tied for 25th in the tournament.
Wade's next tournament began Friday: the Turkey Hill Classic in Harrisburg, Pa. However, rain suspended play until Saturday without Wade getting her first round started.
"She does this to herself because she loves the game," said Mark Wade, Whitney's father.
The Futures Tour season is winding down; just one tournament remains after this weekend. If Wade holds her current position on the money list, she'll earn full exemption to next year's LPGA Tour. (The top five earn a full-exempt Tour card, and Nos. 6-10 earn partial exemptions.)
If Wade earns LPGA status for next year, she said her father will be right along with her, one way or another.
The elder Wade might be Whitney's LPGA caddy.
Mark Wade has caddied for her on the Futures Tour a handful of times this season, including Whitney's one tournament win, in which she came back from six strokes down on the final day to win.
That Sunday comeback: June 21, Father's Day.
"I can tell you it won't get any better than that on any other Father's Day," the elder Wade said.
Neither Whitney nor Mark Wade said they knew for sure who Whitney's caddy may be if she's bumped up to the LGPA at season's end. But either way, Mark Wade will be on the road, watching his daughter play.
In December, Mark Wade's employer, SKF Automotive Division in Glasgow, is shutting down operations to move its plant to Puebla, Mexico.
Mark Wade is taking the opportunity to retire after 30 years with the company.
"If I don't caddy for her, we'll be out on the road watching her," Mark Wade said. "That's what we worked for all this time, to be retired and able to watch her play.
"But if she decides to hire somebody else, she'll have to pay them. I'm a cheap caddy."
Both Whitney Wade and her father acknowledged a promotion is likely at this point. According to Whitney, it would take "a pretty big meltdown on my part, and some lower players really stepping up" to keep her off the 2010 LPGA roster.
For Whitney Wade, earning her LPGA Tour card would fulfill a dream held since she was a 9-year-old fourth-grader playing on Glasgow High School's varsity team.
Since then, she hasn't stopped playing.
"I've been playing golf for such a long time now, so I think I'm ready," Wade said. "This is my second year on the Futures Tour and I'm ready to branch out.
"Fingers crossed for the rest of the year that I make it."