This week, 195 LPGA Tour hopefuls continue their quest to compete on the largest stage in women’s golf at Stage II of the LPGA Tour Qualifying Tournament. The top 80 players at the end of the week will earn a bid to the final stage of Q-School and a chance to earn LPGA or Symetra Tour membership for the 2014 season.
The 72-hole event will be played on the Panther and Bobcat courses at the Plantation Golf and Country Club in Venice, Fla, which has hosted a stage of the LPGA Qualifying Tournament for the past 25 years. Competition will be at an all-time high as the tournament features a strong and diverse field of amateur and professional golfers who represent 34 countries and 43 states in the U.S.
Headlining this week’s field is former Purdue University standout and Stage I medalist Laura Gonzalez-Escallon, who is one of 61 amateur golfers competing in the qualifier this week. The La Hupe, Belgium native proved to be a strong competitor as she led or co-led all four rounds of Stage I of the LPGA Qualifying Tournament in Rancho Mirage, Calif., in August. She finished her week of solid play with a 12-under 267 and edged Wake Forest alum and current Ladies European Tour rookie Cheyenne Woods by three shots.
While the 2013 Symetra Tour season came to a conclusion last Monday at the Symetra Tour Championship at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla., there are 111 members still seeking their LPGA Tour cards who are slated to compete in the qualifier this week. Leading the crop of seasoned pros includes Sweden native Caroline Westrup, Illinois State University graduate Samantha Richdale and Malaysia native Jean Chua, who each finished just outside the top 20 on the Symetra Tour’s season-ending money list.
Other top players in the field this week include: Paula Reto, a quarterfinalist in the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship and a Purdue University graduate with two top-10 finishes on the Symetra Tour; University of Texas standout Madison Pressel, who was the 2011 Big 12 Conference Player of the Year; and China’s Xiyu Lin, who competed in the inaugural LPGA event in Beijing, China last week and finished tied for 23rd.
The tournament begins Tuesday with groups teeing off on both the Panther and Bobcat courses. Play will take place over four days with the final round slated to be completed on Friday. Players who finish within the top 80 this week will advance to the final stage of Q-School. All other players who complete 72 holes will receive Symetra Tour status for the 2014 season.
Stage III of the LPGA Qualifying Tournament will be contested over 90 holes Dec. 4-8, at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla. on both the Jones and Hills courses, formally known as Champions and Legends. 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.
via LPGA Tour