A two-time all-Big Eight golfer and four-time NCAA Regional qualifier, Beth Bader is arguably the most prolific women’s professional athlete in Iowa State history. A native of Eldridge, Iowa, Bader was a multi-sport standout at North Scott High School, earning all-state honors in basketball where she became the school’s all-time leading scorer. Bader wanted to pursue a basketball career, but a knee injury shifted her direction toward golf, where ISU head coach Julie Manning saw unlimited potential.
Bader, who never missed a tournament in her four seasons (1993-96) at Iowa State playing in 42 consecutive meets, wasted little time showing her skills as a Cyclone. With her powerful drives and outstanding feel around the green, she finished second as a freshman at the 1993 Big Eight Championship to help ISU win its first and only conference championship in school history. ISU started its four-year string of NCAA Regional berths in Bader’s freshman year and the Cyclones never finished worse than second at the Big Eight Championship in her final three seasons. She earned all-Big Eight honors again as a sophomore in 1994 and was ranked in the top-100 nationally throughout the rest of her Cyclone career. Bader was the medalist at the 1993 Northern Illinois Huskie Classic and her second-round 70 at the 1994 Indiana Invitational stood as the ISU school record for low 18-hole score until 2001. She still has the most top-five (12) and top-10 (24) finishes in ISU history.
After her ISU career ended, Bader was named the 1996 ISU Female Athlete of the Year. She competed on the Futures Tour (the LPGA’s developmental tour) for a number of years before earning her LPGA Tour card in 2001. She is currently in her eighth season on the LPGA Tour, finishing 46th on the 2007 LPGA Tour money list with $286,761. Her top finish was a fourth-place showing at the 2007 LPGA Corning Classic and she has competed in six U.S. Women’s Open Championships (2002-07), making the cut in 2005 and 2006. Bader is one of three former Cyclones to compete in a U.S. Women’s Open (Barb Thomas, Shelly Finnestad). She notched her best finish in a major in 2005 by tying for 20th at the 2005 McDonald’s LPGA Championship.