Two Australians were amongst 105 LPGA Tour hopefuls that are one step closer to earning their card following the conclusion of this week’s LPGA Sectional Qualifying Tournament at Mission Hills Country Club.
Sydney’s Corie Hou and Brisbane’s Ellen Davies-Graham both made it through. Hou finished in a tie for 14th position at even par total after a final round of 74. Davies-Graham, who is still an amateur, struggled with a six-over-par 78 to finish well within the top 100 in a share of 42nd position at six-over-par.
Laura Gonzalez-Escallon of Belgium finished her week of solid play at 12-under 276 to earn medalist honors and headline a talented group headed to the second stage of the LPGA Qualifying Tournament.
Gonzalez-Escallon fired an even-par 72 during the final round to edge Wake Forest graduate Cheyenne Woods by three shots. Although Gonzalez-Escallon didn’t expect to come out with a win this week, she says it only validates her hard work after graduating from Purdue in May.
“I’m still and amateur but I’m practicing like a pro,” said Gonzalez-Escallon. “It’s a lot of hard work but it’s good that it’s been paying off. I wasn’t sure if the way I was practicing was what I needed but I played really well so this win just confirms what I was doing. I just have to keep at it.”
11-over-par was the cut mark, unfortunately for New South Wales amateur Lauren Hibbert (+14) and Adriana Brent (+18) missed out.
The Rancho Mirage Qualifier is the first of the LPGA Tour’s three sectional qualifying events in 2013. The top-100 players from this week will advance to the second stage of the LPGA Qualifying Tournament at Plantation Golf and Country Club in Venice, Fla., October 8-11. The top 80 and ties from Stage II will advance into the Final Qualifying Tournament.
Stage III of LPGA Q-School will be contested over 90 holes Dec. 4-8, at the LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla. Top finishers in the final stage will earn 2014 LPGA membership (total number of cards TBD) and all others who make the cut will receive Symetra Tour status.