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Blumenherst Walking Away From LPGA Tour?

Randall Mell with news of a blow to the LPGA as one its classiest and most engaging players, 26-year-old Amanda Blumenherst, is walking away at year's end to spend more time with her husband, Oakland A's first-baseman Nate Freiman.

From Mell's exclusive on the 2008 U.S. Women's Amateur champion:

“I don’t want to say I’m retiring, because you never know what will happen,” Blumenherst said. “Maybe I’ll decide in a couple years to come back, and this will just be a little break, you never know.”

It sounds like more than a break, though. Blumenherst, 26, would like to start a family. She said this season has been tough.

“I started noticing that my heart was no longer in it,” Blumenherst said. “I was just going through the motions in practice. I want to be with Nate.”

Mell discussed Blumenhurst's story on Morning Drive with Gary Williams:

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Reader Comments (19)

As much as we all love golf, there is more to life than just this great game. Cheers to her for realising this and following her gut (well heart I guess!)

Bryan @ Foursum Golf
08.29.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBryan Cromlish
The real story is that she never really adapted to playing professionally. Pretty full of herself as an amateur and ate some humble pie playing professionally.
08.29.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSun Mountain Man
Sun Mountain Man

That's the real story,huh? Thanks for reading her mind for us.
08.29.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBarry O
Always surprised how much she struggled as a professional. I just wonder how much not playing well for a long time impacted her decision. If she had Stacy Lewis' career would she make the same decision. Wish her well!
08.29.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSalazama
It's impossible for me to fully appreciate the feeling of playing to earn a living rather than playing for recreation. Add to that the nomadic life of the touring pro. Surely, it is not for every golfer, including the most skilled.
If she changes her mind she can try to come back. It's not as if she's giving up extended success/momentum.
08.29.2013 | Unregistered Commentergov. lepetomane
A first class young lady. Selfishly I wish she had hit it big. Maybe should have left Duke early. Her putting appeared to be iffy what little I saw on TV. She has a great life ahead of her. Go for it Amanda!
08.29.2013 | Unregistered CommenterTaffy
Sun Mountain Man is correct - she simply wasn't as good as she thought she was.
08.29.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDonald Luke
She was the best player in collegiate golf and won the US Amateur, not sure what you guys mean that "she wasn't as good as she thought she was." I never heard this woman once say she was going to dominate on the LPGA.Super girl who was always lonely when she wasn't with her man. It was evident when they were at Duke that being apart for these two was going to be hard.
08.29.2013 | Unregistered Commenterol Harv
Umm, I am not a hater, but when you are 248th in the Rolex rankings, is it not more of a challenge to KEEP playing than to "take a break."

And, when her husband is making big bucks, while she played 23 events last year to make a whopping $106k, where's the tough decision to stop?
08.29.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdw
Freiman is making $490,000 this year...a nice living but not exactly "big bucks". 23 weeks of work for $106k actually annualizes out pretty well given the "work" involved consists of g-o-l-f. Yeah yeah, financing a campaign ain't cheap but I'm sure there are other income sources outside the $106k of on course earnings. If she has to go out and get a real job I suspect we'll see her back between the ropes sooner than later!
08.29.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Agree with some, she couldn't cut the mustard on tour. She has options though, with her other half earning enough for both of them.

She can always be a club pro one day if it doesn't work out. There are worse jobs one can do.
08.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterEasingwold
Another can't miss golfer out of college hits the dirt. And yes, she is/was/ever will be full of herself.

Well at least she'll get prime seats for her hubby's ballgames in her new life as a WAG.
08.30.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz
Dang! Lot of haters on this site. Good for her. Who cares what anyone else thinks.
08.30.2013 | Unregistered Commenterc

1.Why do people label folks, who objectively give their opinion, as"Haters"?
2.Since when do facts and playing records have anything to do with the word "hate"?

(it is such a lame/pathetic retort)

Anyways, the article:

She appears to be happy in her new life...good on her considering the divorce rate these days. But she is one of MANY who go down this road of "retirement" each and every year. The only difference (eg: media coverage of her situation) is that she's blonde and good looking with a pro-jock for a husband. It's just another tale of a "Can't Miss Kid" that did exactly that. Nothing more, nothing less.
08.30.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz
johnny, interesting point there on "facts" and "haters" as it related to this topic. Normally it's the "slurpers" and "sycophants" that deal in facts while the haters just, well you know....
08.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Maybe there's more than one Amanda Blumenherst around. I dealt with her as a Rules official at NCAA regionals, the Women's Am, the WAPL, and the Women's Open and always found her very friendly and approachable on and off the course. I wish nothing but the best for her, and certainly she's not the first "can't miss" player who came out of college and disappeared on the pro circuit.
08.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMajor Dad
106K minus expenses is not that much money
08.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarl Spachler
Exactly Carl, and those are 2012 numbers.

YTD 2013 She has only cashed $42.9K in earnings while averaging 73.9 strokes per round - not much of an improvement of the 74. scoring average in 2012 & 2011. Putting is dismal averaging 1.90 putts per GIR ranking 147th, and 31.3 PPR, ranking 146th. Hard to stay enthused when the flat-stick is such a huge nemesis.

Perhaps this 3-time NCAA Player of the Year no longer finds golf to be her #1 priority. Some players do find other interests as the get a little older. She had a stellar career as an amateur.

Hope she enjoys life. Best wishes to Amanda and her husband Nate. They are the only people they have to make happy.
When Amanda stated she wasn't going to return and spun the story as "stepping away", it was pretty clear that she was not going to retain her LPGA Tour card. Unless I am wrong, the LPGA requires the golfers to finish in the Top 80 on the money list to remain on the tour. Amanda would have had to re-earn her card and the way she is playing that would be questionable at best.

Shortly before the end of the regular season in Major League baseball, her husband had muscle injury to his stomach and sat out about 10 days. During that period, another first baseman played great and basically took away his spot. The A's could have kept him on the roster for the playoffs, but the chose no to do so. If you check out the transactions on the A's website, it shows him being sent to the minors. Basically, he was sent down...even though the minor league season had ended. Amanda had posts on her twitter page that may have made one believe otherwise. Since, the minor league season was over, I believe they let him put on a uniform and sit with the team. But, if you look at the line up cards they could not have played him. Not due to the injury...he simply didn't retain his position on the roster. If the minor league season had still been in session, he would not have been with the A's.

He hit well against right handed pitching...but he has no foot speed. One article mentioned he was slower than a glacier. He will be 27 next a 26 year old rookie that is slow and can only hit from one side of the plate, he better hope that the A's move him back up...not many manager platoon hitters. (play one guy against right handed pitching and another against left handed pitching) He fell into the right spot on the right team...maybe just for one season. I am sure the A's had hoped that he would hit the long ball, but that part of his game was pretty quiet with only four home runs.

Due to MLB salary rules, I am not sure I would keep Nate on a AAA team next season. He would be required to make about $250,000 since he played in the big leagues this season....while his teammates earn about $80,000 in AAA. In other words, this may be the end of the line for big Nate in baseball...especially if he isn't able to earn his way back into the A's line-up.

Overall, Amanda has always shown class and been good for golf. With that being said, if you had a list of collegiate athletes who failed to meet expectations as a professional, Amanda might be looked at as the biggest failure of any sport ever. Being named NCAA player of the year three times would have been like winning the Heisman Trophy three times. Her golf game just seemed to trend down since her Freshman year at Duke...about the same time she met her future husband. Her Freshman season at Duke was her best and each year her game notched down a bit.

I am disappointed in the press, for not calling it like it is and to some degree in Amanda for spinning the story in this manner. If it were a male golfer leaving the PGA tour at age 26 after a successful collegiate career, what would we be saying? I don't think it would be sugar coated. The bottom line is she didn't live up to her potential/expectations as a professional golfer.

In the end, Amanda and her husband may have all the time in the world to spend together next year. They wanted more time together and now they may have it.
10.18.2013 | Unregistered CommenterTim

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