The grind of Q-school is over for the ladies and congratulations to the women that got their LPGA cards for 2013! For anyone following my blog you know that I have been following the LPGA Q-school since stage I. After stage II I reported that I would be watching four players in Stage III:
- Moriya Jutanugam (Thailand) – One of the top amateur players in women’s golf.
- Brooke Pancake – Winner of the 2012 Collegiate Women Sports Award for Golf.
- Anya Alvarez – A player from the 2012 Big Break Atlantis.
- Christina Kim - LPGA Professional that has been on tour for 10 years, is very popular, well-known on Twitter, and struggling with her game.
Note: On September 4, 2012, I wrote an overview of the LPGA Q-School.
LPGA Stage III Q-School Results
Stage III of the LPGA Q-school was held Nov 28 to Dec 2, at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Florida. They played two courses, the Champion & Legends. The full results give the scores for all five rounds and the final positions. The top 20 get full-status on the LPGA tour for 2013 and players finishing 21-45 get conditional status (so they may get to play a few tournaments but not many). If you want to see a good list of the 20 players to secure their cards read the Golf Week Article. Here are how the four I followed finished:
- Moriya Jutanugam – Tied 1st place, total score 347 (13 under par). As a winner she will forever have the title of medalist honors for Q-School! This is a good omen given that past medalists include Stacy Lewis (2012 Player of the Year). I am not surprised she won since she has been one of the top amateur players this year. But, she did not end with a solo win. Jutanugam shares the medalist honors with Rebecca Lee-Bentham (who was a rookie on the LPGA in 2012 but needed to go to Q-school to retain her LPGA status).
- Brooke Pancake – Tied 11th, total Score 356 (four under par). I’ve been following Pancake since her last year in college (because I liked her name and now I am a fan of her game). It will be fun to watch her during her rookie year in 2013.
- Anya Alvarez – Tied 54th, total score 363 (four over par). Unfortunately for Alvarez she did not get her tour card. Shooting 75, and 75 the first two days was not a great start and even with a 69 on day three she did not recover and shot 74, and 70 to finish out her week.
- Christina Kim – Tied 39, total score 361 (one over par). Kim only had one good day during the week. Round 2 she shoot a 67 (but the rest of her scores were 72,73,74,75 – not in that order). But Kim fares better than Alvarez because of her career she will play with sponsor exemptions too. I wasn’t sure how sponsor exemptions work so I tweeted a question to Stina Sternberg, Senior Editor, Golf Digest, covering women’s golf. As Sternberg explains, Kim won a conditional card (for finishing in T39) but that does not help a lot. But she gets in to at least 6 tournaments on sponsor exemptions; and can play in USWO (United States Women’s Open) qualifiers to get into the US Women’s Open.
Results for Big Break Alum
Anya Alverez was not the only Big Break Alum in Stage III. There were two other players at Q-school from past Big Break shows.
- Kim Welch – Tied 11th, total score 356 (4 under par). Welch was the winner on Big Break Ka’anapali in 2008 so it just shows how hard it is to make it on to the LPGA tour.
- Kelly Jacques – Tied 17th, total score 357 (3 under par). However, Jacques (from Big Break Ireland 2011) had a more heartbreaking end to her Q-school. Jacques ended in seven-player tie for the final four spots in the top-20 so she had to go into a playoff. Unfortunately she did not win one of the 4 spots and only got conditional status but it is still a great accomplishment.
The LPGA Q-school is great golf drama and I wish it had been televised on the Golf Channel. I know it is expensive to televise golf but I think the final round would have been exciting for golfers to watch on TV. At a minimum, I would have liked the Golf Channel to have more video from each day. After all, the Golf Channel did show clips from the PGA Q-school on Golf Central each day. Perhaps next year the Golf Channel will give air time to LPGA Q-school. Given that the PGA is changing their process for next year and getting rid of Q-School for the PGA tour — maybe, just maybe the LPGA will get the spotlight next year.