Broken heart πŸ’” :spencerport grad who died in tragic crash one of best female golfers ever….

By | June 1, 2024

Danielle Downey was one of those rare high school athletes whose talent seemed limitless.

One of the most decorated athletes in Spencerport High School history, Downey competed on both the girls’ basketball team and boys’ golf team in the 1990s.

She was named All-Greater Rochester in basketball, and received the Spencerport Sports Booster Club award and the Selendar award as the senior academic athlete of the year, and the outstanding senior athlete.

“Danielle is one of the best student-athletes in our history at Spencerport,” former athletic director John Pelin said in a 2014 interview. “She was one of the most competitive and mentally tough athletes that I have seen in my 35 years.”

Danielle Downey was a former pro golfer who was a three-time All-American at Auburn University. She died in a tragic Jan. 30, 2014, crash in Auburn, Alabama.More

Downey’s string of accomplishments continued into her college years at Auburn University. She was the New York State Women’s Amateur champ three consecutive years (1999-2001). During her time with the Tigers she won three tournaments including the 2000 SEC individual title, made the all-SEC team four times (first-team three times), and led Auburn to SEC championships in 2000 and 2003 while her tie for second-place in the 2002 NCAA championship is the best in school history. Also, in the 2002 U.S. Women’s Amateur at Sleepy Hollow Country Club in Scarborough, she qualified for the match play portion of the tournament and in the first round defeated future LPGA star Paula Creamer 2-and-1.

Downey turned pro in 2003 and played on the Futures Tour β€” the developmental circuit for the LPGA Tour β€” for several years and won the 2004 Lima Memorial Hospital Futures Golf Classic. She had seven top-10 finishes before finally earning her LPGA playing privileges in 2006

Playing at the highest level in women’s golf, Downey struggled. She played parts of five seasons from 2006-10 and earned just over $152,000. In 50 career LPGA starts, she made the cut 15 times and had one top 10 finish, a tie for fourth in the 2008 Bell Micro LPGA Classic.

After a stint as a caddy for other pros, Downey returned to her alma mater in 2012, finished her degree and filled in for head coach Kim Evans, who was battling cancer. She led the Auburn Tigers to a berth in the NCAA Championship where they finished sixth, the team’s best tournament showing in eight years.

In 2013, Downey became director of golf operations for the school, serving both the men’s and women’s teams by handling things such as travel, equipment, daily golf house operations, and other administrative duties.

“She was happy with her life and the direction it was going, working at Auburn and playing a role with the team,” said Jon Hoecker, the head professional at Brook-Lea Country Club where he taught Downey for about 15 years.

Danielle Downey was a golf and basketball star for Spencerport High School who was a professional golfer from 2004 to 2010.

On Jan. 30, 2014, at age 33, Downey was killed in a one-car crash in Auburn. An Alabama State Police report later said the she had been drinking with friends at a local restaurant the night of the crash.

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