LPGA Q-School Stage III Results

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:

  1. Moriya Jutanugam (Thailand) – One of the top amateur players in women’s golf.
  2. Brooke Pancake – Winner of the 2012 Collegiate Women Sports Award for Golf.
  3. Anya Alvarez – A player from the 2012 Big Break Atlantis.
  4. 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:

  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
Image of Twitter Conversation with Stina Sternberg

Twitter Conversation with Stina Sternberg

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Final Thoughts

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.

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LPGA Q-School Stage II Results

In my post on the results of Stage 1 of Q-School, I reported that I would be watching four players in Stage II:

  1. Moriya Jutanugam (Thailand) – the winner of LPGA Q-School Stage 1
  2. Brooke Pancake – winner of the 2012 Collegiate Women Sports Award for Golf
  3. Jaye Marie Green – runner-up to Lydia Ko at 2012 US Women’s Amateur
  4. Shannon Fish – the only one of six Golf Channel Big Break Atlantis contestants in Stage 1 of Q-School to move to Stage II of Q-school.

Note: On September 4, 2012, I wrote an overview of the LPGA Q-School.

LPGA Stage II Q-School Results

Stage II of the LPGA Q-school was held Oct. 9-12, at Plantation Golf and Country Club in Venice, Fla.   The full results give the scores for all four rounds and the final positions. The top 70 plus ties move to Stage III.  The winner Katie Burnett shot 273 (15 under par).  Here are how the four golfers listed-above performed:

  1. Moriya Jutanugam – Tied 16th, Score: 288 (even par) – Moving to Stage III
  2. Brooke Pancake – Tied 20th, Score: 289 (one over par) – Moving to Stage III
  3. Jaye Marie Green – Tied 77, Score: 296 (eight over par) – Not Moving forward*
  4. Shannon Fish – T113th, Score: 308 (thirteen over par) – Not moving forward*

* These players do gain status on the Symetra Tour for 2013. The Symetra tour is the future’s tour for the LPGA.

Results for Big Break Atlantis Alum

As mentioned in my Stage 1 Q-School post, three players from Big Break Atlantis did not need to play Stage 1 of Q-school (they automatically qualified for Stage II).  The three players were Anya Alvarez, Marcela Leon, and Gloriana Soto.

Only Anya Alvarez is moving to Stage III of Q-school.  Alvarez shot seven over par and finished tied in the 63rd position.  The winner of Big Break Atlantis Marcela Leon, shot 296 (eight over par) and missed the cut by one stroke.  It should be noted that the Stage II preliminary field listed Gloriana Soto but it does not appear she participated in Stage II.

Stage III LPGA Q-School

The final stage of Q-School will be held November 28-December 2, 2012 at the LPGA International Golf Course in Daytona Beach Florida.  This will include the golfers from Stage II as well as current LPGA players that are hoping to improve their status (which determines the tournaments they are eligible to play in 2013).

Which LPGA players will go “back to Q-School?”  One LPGA player that has had a tough year and will be heading to Q-School is Christina Kim.  Kim has been on tour for 10 years, is very popular, and well-known on Twitter.  From a marketing perspective, the LPGA wants this “star” to have full tour status in 2013.   Who else will join Kim? I think we can all guess but I’ll be good and wait until the official list of participants is released to comment.

LPGA Q-School Stage I Results

On September 4, 2012, I wrote an overview of the LPGA Q-School.  As part of that article I listed three players that I hoped would make it.  I’m happy to report that two of the three players I highlighted are moving on to Stage II of Q-school.  The two players moving on are Brooke Pancake and Jaye Marie Green.

LPGA Q-School Results

The screen shot below shows that Pancake and Green tied for 3rd position with a total score of 278 at 10 under par.  The winner Moriya Jutanugam (Thailand) is no surprise.  She is a well-known player on the amateur scene and her world amateur ranking is 12.  Believe it or not, she has a younger sister, Ariya Jutanugarn who’s world amateur ranking is 2.  Ariya is too young to go to Q-school, however she petitioned the LPGA to go to Q-School. The LPGA denied the sixteen year old an exemption.  Don’t feel too bad for Ariya — she will meet the age qualification for Q-school next year.

One of the big surprises was that Cheyenne Woods missed the cut and did not play in the final two rounds.  Her scores: 77+74=151 (+7).  The cut was +4 so she missed by 3 shots.  On one hand, it must be hard to be Tiger’s niece and be in the spot light as you start your career.  On the other hand, Cheyenne will get sponsor exemptions (because she is a “Woods”) and get experience that most players (that missed the cut) will not get in 2013.

Big Break Atlantis Alum Results

The six players from Big Break Atlantis were: Shannon Fish, Natalia Ghilzon, Meghan Hardin, Allison Micheletti, Christina Stockton, and Kelly Villarreal.  Only one player, Shannon Fish, made it to stage II of Q-school.  Shannon’s scores: 75, 71,73, and 79 for a total of 289 and tie for 30th position.  For the record here are the scores for the other Big Break Alum (position and score after two rounds):

Name Position Score
Natalie Ghilzon Tied 133 153
Christine Stockton Tied 158 158
Kelly Villarreal Tied 206 163
Meghan Hardin Tied 206 163
Allison Mitcheletti WD none

Stage II Coming in October

The next stage of the LPGA Q-school will be held Oct. 9-12, at Plantation Golf and Country Club in Venice, Fla.  I’ll be tracking Jaye Marie Green, Brooke Pancake, Shannon Fish; as well as, the additional Big Break Atlantis Stage II qualifiers —  Marcela Leon, Gloriana Soto and Anya Alvarez.

LPGA (Q-School) Qualifying Tournaments Overview

One of the rights of passage for golfers that want to be “on tour” is Q-school (or as the LPGA likes to call it, LPGA Qualifying Tournaments.)  The LPGA kicks-off the 2012 tournaments today, September 4th with the first of three stages.  The three stages culminate in December with the final event determining which golfers get “LPGA Membership” for the 2013 golf season.

Overview of the LPGA Q-School Tournament process:

If you want to learn all the details you can go to the LPGA website and download the PDF’s.  The information below is a basic overview for those interested in the stages of qualifying.

Stage I – Takes place from September 4 to September 7, 2012 and is 72-holes of stroke play competition. The total field is 240 players.  The players must be 18-years-old by January 1, 2013 (the age requirement to play on the LPGA tour unless the player petitions for a special exemption.)  The players also pay a $1,500 entry fee to compete.  The top 60 plus ties will advance to Stage II.

Stage II – Takes place from October 9 to October 12, 2012 and is 72-holes of stroke play competition.  The total field is 216 players.  This stage includes the players advancing from stage I and players from the Symetra Tour, Class A LPGA members (they are not on tour right now), Rolex-Ranked players, and CN (Canadian Tour) Qualifiers.  The entrance fee is $1,500 for the Stage 1 qualifiers and $3,000 for the other players.  The top 70 plus ties will advance to Stage III.

Stage III – Takes place November 28-December 2, 2012 and is 90-holes of stroke play competition (with a 72-hole cut.)  This stage will include the players from Stage II, Symetra tour (money leaders that did not get their card as part of the Volvik Race for the Card ) and current LPGA tour players that need to improve their status. The goal of all the players from stage three is to get full-status to be eligible for all LPGA events.  The entrance fee for Stage III is $2,500.  The top players will get LPGA “membership” (number of members and status are TBD) and all other players will get Symetra Tour status for 2013.

It is important to note that player status ties to the LPGA Player Priority List which is “used to fill all Standard Eligibility Tournament fields.”  For example, in the 2012 season, the top 80 players on the money list from 2011 have first priority to play in tournaments.  The next group on the “priority list” is the top 20 players in career earnings money list (e.g. in 2012 only one player has this status, Laura Davies).  The priority list has many status categories and the lower the priority status the less likely a player will get into a tournament.  You can access the current 2012 list at the LPGA website, Player drop down menu will provide a link to the Priority List PDF.

Players to watch in Stage 1:

If you are a golf geek, you will recognize the names of the players that I will be following in stage I of Q-school.  They are Cheyenne Woods, Jaye Marie Green, and Brooke Pancake.

(1) Cheyenne Woods is the niece of Tiger and so everyone will be watching to see if she makes the LPGA tour.  Woods turned professional in May 2012 and won her first event on the Suncoast Series where the top prize money was $3,000.  The Suncost series is a mini-tour.  Think of the Suncost mini-tour as equivalent to Double-A minor league baseball — a step below the Triple-A league (e.g. in women’s golf the Symetra Tour).  Of course, the “major league” equivalent in women’s golf is the LPGA.

(2) Jaye Marie Green is an amateur that I followed during the US Women’s Amateur.  Green’s claim to fame is that she came in second behind Lydia Ko.  Green is ranked 5th in the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR).  Considering how “hot” Ko is right now, I was impressed with how Green competed in the final day of match play at the US Women’s Amateur.

(3) Brooke Pancake caught my attention when she clinched a final putt to help her college team, Alabama, win the NCAA National title. Pancake also won the 2012 Honda Sports Award in golf, given annually to the nation’s top female collegiate golfer.   I will admit that Pancake’s personal story is very moving. In her senior year in high school her father committed suicide and it is impressive that she has done so well after such a tragic loss. Pancake turned professional in June 2012 and plays on the Symentra tour.

Golf Channel Big Break Atlantis Players at Q-School

If you are a Big Break fan, you will be happy to know that a number of Golf Channel cast members from Big Break Atlantis are playing in Stage I.  The six players to watch in Stage I are: Shannon Fish, Natalia Ghilzon, Meghan Hardin, Allison Micheletti, Christina Stockton, and Kelly Villarreal.

The winner of Big Break Atlantis, Marcela Leon; and the 2nd place finisher (and fan favorite), Selanee Henderson are already listed in the preliminary field for the Stage II tournament. Gloriana Soto and Anya Alvarez are also listed in the Stage II Preliminary field.