ALPG member Corie Hou shares the lead with five others after the opening round in the first stage of the 2013 LPGA Qualifying Tournament at Mission Hills Country Club on Tuesday, local time.
The talented crop of young female golfers began their professional campaign firing 4-under 68 rounds on the Palmer and Dinah Shore Courses.
Hou shares the lead with Cheyenne Woods, Rhea Nair, Kelly Tan, Casey Grice and Laura Gonzales. The group hold a one shot advantage over another four players.
Sydney’s Hou carded five birdies and one bogey on the Dinah Shore Course. A 2010 graduate from the University of Hawaii, Hou is a Mini Tour player in Australia and Europe. She says the key to her low-round was her dependence on her long-time friend and caddie.
“I think what really helped me today was my caddie,” said Hou. “We had a really good relationship today. We bonded well over our putts and read the same breaks. We work well together, you know, we saw the same things off the tee and agreed on a lot of things the greens. It kind of gave me some confidence for this week.”
The hot weather didn’t seem to affect scores on Tuesday. Temperatures hit the mid-90s in the Palm Springs-area with the heat index reaching triple digits during the mid-part of the day.
Players are competing on both the Palmer and Dinah Shore courses at Mission Hills Country Club, playing each of the courses twice with no cut. The Rancho Mirage qualifier is the first of the LPGA Tour’s three sectional qualifying events in 2013. The top-100 players at the end of the week will advance to the second stage of the LPGA Qualifying Tournament at Plantation Golf and Country Club in Venice, Fla., and will unfold October 8-11, 2013.
There are three fellow Australians in the field this week. Amateur Ellen Davies-Graham from Brisbane is currently tied 23rd position after an even-par round on the Dinah Shore course. Sydney amateur Lauren Hibbet is at two-over and tied for 75th position. Another Sydneysider, Adriana Brent, is at seven-over and tied for 183rd position.