Jodi's aiming high
North Yorkshire’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff says her number one goal for this season is to make the Solheim Cup team.
She was a member of the victorious 2013 side and made an encouraging start to lining up against the Americans at Gleneagles, Scotland, in September by finishing joint third behind Charley Hull in the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open.
The Middleham native shot rounds of 70, 70 and 73 at the Saadiyat Beach Golf club in the United Arab Emirates in the opening tournament on the 2019 Ladies European Tour. Now based in Florida, Shadoff plays mainly on the LPGA Tour in the States but will combine her schedule over there with some European Tour events in a bid to play in her second Solheim Cup.
She said: “Being on Team Europe for The Solheim Cup in my number one goal. I haven’t won yet, on the LPGA or LET, but I feel ready.
Jodi (right) with three-time European team member Charley Hull at the 2013 Solheim Cup
“Obviously I played in the 2013 Solheim Cup when we won in Denver and that whole week was an amazing memory but when I played with Charley, we played against Lexi and Paula and we took them down the last. I had to hit this shot, I had a 9-iron in my hand, and I had to hit the green and make par to win the hole and win the match and I did. I also remember Karine (Koch) holing that putt on the second afternoon when we swept them.”
Her family still live in Middleham where dad Harvey, a former jockey, is now a groom-rider for one of the country’s leading trainers Mark Johnston. Horse racing is very much a part of the family as Mum Zoe is a former yard manager for the Scot who broke the record for the number of British winners in August of last year.
But Jodi was never interested in horses. “We put her on a pony when she was about five and when it started to walk, she started crying. I don’t think she ever went near a horse after that," recalled Zoe.
As a child, the Leeds United fan played soccer for her school in Leyburn before her grandfather Desmond Warren introduced her to golf aged 8 at Catterick Golf Club. And that would prove to be the start of a glittering amateur career.
Ewart was on the Great Britain and Ireland Curtis Cup team in 2008 which was defeated by the United States, and won back to back English Amateur Championships, taking the title in 2008 and again in 2009.
But the Yorkshire Dales can be a bleak spot in winter and not the best place to fine tune a golf game so Jodi went in search of the sunshine and sent her impressive résumé and a video of her swing to the top-20 golf universities in the United States.
But one trip to the University of New Mexico was all she needed and she packed her bags and headed to Albuquerque.
Jodi graduated with a degree in psychology in 2010 and whilst a member of the Lady Lobos team had five collegiate wins and was a two-time NCAA All-American in 2009 and 2010.
With the success she saw in college it seemed right to turn professional after graduation and she contended on the Symetra Tour for next two years, recording nine top-10 finishes.
She qualified for the LPGA Tour in 2011 and was named Rookie of the Year. Despite never winning on the LPGA Tour she has amassed over $2.7M fuelled by 16 career top 10’s. One of the longest hitters in ladies golf, Shadoff tied for 4th in the 2013 U.S. Women's Open and was runner up in the 2017 Ricoh Women’s British Open .
Jodi married Adam Shadoff, a sports anchor and reporter at Fox 35, in January 2013 and now lives in Orlando but still makes trips back to North Yorkshire.
Mum Zoe added: “We are incredibly proud of what she has achieved in golf, especially since neither of us have ever had the chance to play the game due to being so heavily involved with horses. We think a win is around the corner. It is just a matter of putting four good rounds together.”