Amelia Lewis, a three-time Times-Union First Coast girls golfer of the year, is turning professional and will play in this week's LPGA Duramed Tour Daytona Beach Invitational.


Lewis, a Jacksonville native, played golf at Bolles for five years, beginning in the eighth grade. She played last fall at the University of Florida and left the team in December.

Lewis qualified for the Futures Tour as an amateur, with conditional status, in the winter of 2008, but has played only once. Because she is third in the world among female amateur golfers by Golfweek, she will begin with "A-Status" on the Duramed Tour, the LPGA's equivalent to the PGA Tour's Nationwide Tour.

The Daytona Beach Invitational will be played at the LPGA International Champions Course.

"I feel like I'm ready," Lewis told the Times-Union. "I'm the third-ranked amateur in the world and when you feel it, you have to go get it. I don't want to hold myself back."

Lewis said her goal in her first start as a professional is to treat it like any other tournament.

"I don't have any expectations other than to play my best," she said. "I've played hundreds of golf tournaments and I want to keep it fun."