LPGA Q-School Final Stage: Round 5 -- Green Is Medalist; Anderson Makes It Easily
December 8 2013
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The Final Stage of LPGA Qualifying was expanded to 90 holes in 2004. In the previous nine Q-School finales since then, the lowest score was a 342 (18 under par) in 2008 by Stacy Lewis, who has gone on to win eight times on the LPGA Tour. She is currently ranked No. 3 in the world.
In this year's Final Stage, which concluded Sunday on the Jones Course at the LPGA International complex, Mi Rim Lee, a two-time winner on the Korean LPGA Tour, bettered Lewis' record by a stroke with an aggregate of 341. But Lee didn't win the tournament. As a matter of fact, she ddin't come close -- she finished 10 strokes behind!
This year's Final Stage belonged to the runaway medalist, Jaye Marie Green. The 19-year-old from Boca Raton opened the festivities on Wednesday with a course-record, 10-under-par 62 at the Jones Course, and even though Lee broke that record two strokes on Friday, in the third round, Green was able to increase her lead every day as she went wire to wire on her way to claiming medalist honors.
On Sunday, she capped off her virtually perfect week of golf with a 68, which gave her a 90-hole total of -- 29 under par! -- 331, 11 better than Lewis' old record.
Green, who finished second to Lydia Ko in the 2012 U.S. Women's Amateur (Ko has since won twice on the LPGA Tour), spent most of 2013 on the Symetra Tour, which is the LPGA's version of a Challenger Tour. She didn't win, but she improved as the year went on and ended up with three top-10 finishes. She wound up No. 29 on the Symetra money list.
The victory was worth $5,000. Lee earned $4,500 for second.
More important, they were two of the 20 players who earned exempt status for the LPGA Tour in 2014.
Tiffany Joh, who is a two-year LPGA Tour veteran, will be returning tot he Women's Tour, thanks to a third-place finish at Q-School. She closed with a 71 on Sunday for a cumulative 345.
One behind her, in fourth at minus 14, was Amy Anderson, who made $3,500. Anderson, who set a record for women's NCAA Division I golf by winning 20 college tournaments during her four years at North Dakota State (the old record of 17 that she broke belonged to Juli Inkster), shot a final-round 69.
Anderson won the Second Stage of LPGA Q-School in October with a 272 (-16) at Plantation Golf & Country Club in Venice, Fla. Green tied for 20th there with a 287. Which means that if the Second and Final stages had been combined into a giant, 162-hole tournament, Green and Anderson would have tied.
As it was, it took a score of 354 in the Final Stage to earn an LPGA Card for next year. But the four players who finished at 354 were tied for 19th, and that was two too many. So there was a playoff for the last two spots, and they went to Hara Nomura of Tokyo and South African Ashleigh Simon.
Final Stage (90 holes)
At LPGA International
Jones Course -- par 72, 6,389 yards
Hills Course -- par 72, 6,468 yards
Daytona Beach, Fla.
1. Jaye Marie Green, Boca Raton, Fla. 62 (J) 68 (H) 66 (J) 67(H) 68 (J) --331 (-29)
2. Mi Rim Lee, South Korea 69 (J) 73 (H) 61 (J) 69 (H) 69 (J) -- 341
3. Tiffany Joh, San Diego 66 (J) 70 (H) 70 (J) 68 (H) 71 (J) -- 345
4. Amy Anderson, Oxbow, N.D. 68 (J) 69 (H) 70 (J) 70 (H) 69 (J) -- 346
What it took: 355 (4-way tie for 19th; 4 played off for 2 spots)
Cut Score: 291 (8-way tie for 63rd place)
The top 20 finishers will be fully exempt for the 2014 LPGA Tour. Those who finished 21st through 45th -- plus ties -- will be partially exempt, and anyone who made the cut will have status on the Symetra Tour, which is the women's equivalent of the web.com Tour for men.