LPGA Tour to welcome thirty-five rookies in 2013

They’ve all taken different paths to get to this point, but they all made their dreams of playing on the LPGA Tour a reality this year. Hailing from 14 different countries across the globe, the accomplished, diverse group of rookies is expected to make an impact next season. Take a look at who will join the world’s best in 2013.

Marina Alex @Marina_Deee (Wayne, N.J.) – Was twice named SEC Player of the Year while playing at Vanderbilt University and was selected as a NGCA First-Team All-American (2010 & 2012). As a sophomore, she was the individual winner at the 2010 SEC Championship and was runner-up in 2012 as a senior. Alex competed in seven events on the Symetra Tour in 2012, recording two top-10 finishes and a season-best T3 at the Challenge at Musket Ridge.

Chie Arimura @arichie1122 (Kumamoto, Japan) – Arimura was the top-ranked player in the world at Q School and is currently ranked No. 19 in the Rolex Rankings. She brings 13 international career wins with her, all on the LPGA of Japan (JLPGA).

Julia Boland @juliabolandgolf (Tamworth, Australia) – The 27-year old was a Third-Team All-American and recorded three victories during her one season at Texas A&M in 2010. She completed her master’s degree in exercise physiology while volunteer coaching for the Aggies in 2011. Boland won her first professional event on the Symetra Tour at the Four Winds Invitational this season. She ranked second on Tour in Driving Distance, Driving Accuracy and in Rookie of the Year points while finishing the season eighth on the money list.

Frances Bondad @Francesbondad (Greystanes, Australia) – Bondad was the No. 1 ranked amateur in Australia from 2006-2007 and was the 2007 Australian Amateur Stroke play champion. A five-year member of the Ladies European Tour (LET), she recorded her first professional win at the 2011 Sanya Ladies Open in Hainan, China. She has nine top-10 career finishes including two runner-ups.

Katie Burnett @KatieBurnett44 (Brunswick, Ga.) – Was named a 2012 Second-Team All-American and an Honorable Mention selection in 2010 while at the University of South Carolina. Burnett holds the all-time scoring record for the Gamecocks and was a two-time All-SEC Second Team selection. Turned pro in 2012 and played in seven events on the Symetra Tour this season and recorded a career-best T11 at the Daytona Beach Invitational.

Esther Choe (Scottsdale, Ariz.) – The sixth-year pro found her breakthrough in 2012 and garnered Symetra Tour Player of the Year honors. She recorded her first two professional wins and posted two runner-up finishes to top Tour’s money list. Choe’s six starts was the lowest number of events played by a Player of the Year in Symetra Tour history. She was a two-time member of the U.S. Junior Solheim Cup Team (2005 & 2007) and a member of the 2006 U.S. Junior Ryder Cup Team.

Perrine Delacour (Laon, France) – Delacour was a member of the French National Team and reached the semi-finals of the 2012 Ladies’ British Amateur Championship. She was one of four amateurs to earn LPGA Tour status last week at Final Stage of Q School.

Brianna Do @Bri_D0 (Lakewood, Calif.) – Do was a two-time AJGA All-American selection and was a member of the 2007 Junior Solheim Cup Team. Played college golf at UCLA and garnered Second Team All-Pac 10 honors in 2010 and Honorable Mention in 2012. She was the winner of the 2011 U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links. Played in eight events in her rookie year on the Symetra Tour in 2012 and recorded a career-best T8 at the Four Winds Invitational.

Lauren Doughtie @Laurendoughtie (Suffolk, Va.) - Recorded one win in collegiate competition while at North Carolina State University and was named to the 2008 All-Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Team. Doughtie was a four-year member of the Symetra Tour and earned her first professional win in 2012 at the Ladies Titan Tire Challenge in Marion, Iowa which she won in a playoff. Doughtie earned a spot in the top-20 at last week’s Final Qualifying School in a seven-player, three-hole playoff to earn Category 12 on next year’s priority list.

Paz Echeverria @Merygolf (Santiago, Chile)Was named the Chilean National Player of the Year five times (2006-2010) and won 15 tournaments in her native country of Chile. Echeverria was a two-time winner of the South American Match Play Championship (2009, 2010). She tied for 11th at the 2011 HSBC LPGA Brasil Cup in Rio de Janiero, Brazil. Made 16 starts in her second season on the Symetra Tour in 2012 and recorded a career-best T7 at the Daytona Beach Invitational.

Victoria Elizabeth @vegolf (Dayton, Ohio) – The 20-year old turned pro after an accomplished junior career in 2009 and has played on the Symetra Tour for the past four seasons. Elizabeth notched four wins on the AJGA and was a 2008 AJGA Rolex Junior All-American Honorable Mention selection. She had a breakthrough year on the Road to the LPGA in 2012 and recorded her first-career victory at the Credit Union Classic in Syracuse, N.Y. In addition to her win, she posted four top-10 finishes and ranked third on the Tour’s money list.

Breanna Elliott @ElliottBre (Yarrawonga, Australia) – Won several amateur events in Australia and won the 2012 Trans National Amateur Championship in Elgin, South Carolina. Was a member of the Australian National Team and consistent figure at the top of the world amateur rankings. Missed out on full LPGA Tour status after being bounced in the seven-player playoff at Final Stage of Q School.       

Marita Engzelius (Oslo, Norway) – Was a three-time All-Conference USA selection while at the University of Tulsa. She won the Norwegian Championship in 2007 and 2010 and qualified for the Tour as an amateur. Will join Rolex Rankings No. 5 Suzann Pettersen as the only current LPGA Tour members from Norway.

Austin Ernst @AustinErnst92 (Seneca, S.C.) – Played two seasons at LSU from 2011-2012. Ernst was the 2011 NCAA individual champion, the same year she earned NGCA First-Team All-American honors and was named to the SEC Second Team. In her sophomore year, she was a Second Team All-American selection by Golfweek and an All-SEC Second Team member. Ernst was a semifinalist at the 2011 U.S. Women’s Amateur and was a member of the 2012 U.S. Curtis Cup Team.

Jordan Hardy @jordanhardy (Sylacauga, Ala.) - Recorded four wins in collegiate competition while at Birmingham-Southern College and was a two-time All-Big South Conference Team selection (2007, 2008). She was named the 2009 Birmingham-Southern College Female Athlete of the Year her senior year. Three-year Symetra Tour member and made nine starts in 2010 and 2011.

Daniela Iacobelli @DIac1127 (Viera, Fla.) - She recorded 29 top-10 finishes, including eight wins, in collegiate competition while at the Florida Institute of Technology. Iacobelli was the individual winner of the 2007 NCAA Division II Women's Golf Championship and was named the 2007 Florida Tech Female Athlete of the Year. Was a third-year member on the Symetra Tour in 2012 and broke into the top-10 on the money list in the final week of the season after her first professional win at the Daytona Beach Invitational. She ranked fifth on the money list, recorded four additional top-10 finishes and was ranked first on Tour in Driving Distance

Kelly Jacques @KJacquesgolf (Longmont, Colo.) – Recorded 10 top-10 finishes while at University of Oklahoma and was named a 2007 All-Big 12 Conference selection. She qualified for her first U.S. Women’s Open in 2012 at Blackwolf Run. A four-year member of the Symetra Tour, she made nine starts in 2012 and recorded a career-best T11 at the Eagle Classic. Jacques was a contestant on Golf Channel’s Big Break: Ireland.

Felicity Johnson @FlicJohnsonGolf (Birmingham, England) – Was the 2005 English Amateur champion. Is a four-year member of the Ladies European Tour and has two career victories on the LET, most recently at the 2011 Lacoste Ladies Open de France. Johnson recorded five top-10 finishes this season on the LET and has 11 in her career.

Moriya Jutanugarn (Bangkok, Thailand) – Won the 2012 South Atlantic Ladies Amateur Championship (SALLY) and was runner-up at the 2011 U.S. Women’s Amateur. The 18-year old qualified for the Tour on her first attempt and earned medalist honors at First Stage of Qualifying and was a co-medalist with Rebecca Lee-Bentham at Final Stage.

Taylore Karle @hotTAYmaleesglf (Scottsdale, Ariz.) – Karle was a three-time AJGA Rolex Junior All-American First Team selection (2005-2007). She played collegiate golf at Pepperdine University and was named 2008 West Coast Conference Player of the Year. Karle was named to the 2008 NGCA All-American Second Team and was a four-time All-West Coast Conference First Team selection. As a professional, she won 12 Cactus Tour events in 2012.

Sue Kim @TheSueKim (Langley, British Columbia) – Kim was a two-time runner up at the Canadian Women's Amateur Championship (2007, 2009) and was a quarter-finalist at the 2007 U.S. Girls' Junior Championship. She was a four-year member of the Canadian National Team. She won twice on the CN Canadian Women’s Tour in 2008 and was named the Tour’s Player of the Year. She played the last two seasons on the Symetra Tour and recorded four top-10 finishes in 2012. She ranked third in birdies (139) and fourth in rounds under par (21).

Jiayun Li (Guangzhou, China) – Li played two years on the LPGA of China (2011-2012) and was a member of the LPGA of Japan in 2012.  She’s a member of the Chinese National Team and will join the Tour as the second player from mainland China, joining 2012 Wegmans LPGA Championship winner Shanshan Feng.

Inhong Lim (Seoul, South Korea) – Lim recorded six wins in amateur competition in Australia before playing at Ohio State University. She recorded six top-10 finishes, including one win as a Buckeye. Lim was a 2009 All-Big Ten First Team selection and was named to the Second Team in 2010.  She’s competed on the Symetra Tour for three seasons, as an amateur in 2010.

Alejandra Llaneza @Ale_Llaneza (Mexico City, Mexico) – Llaneza was a five-time Mexican Junior National champion and was a member of the 2008 Mexican National Team at the World Amateur Golf Team Championships. She played college golf at the University of Arizona and was named a 2008 Pacific 10 Conference Honorable Mention. She won the 2011 Cactus Tour event at Wigwam and was a member of the Symetra Tour in 2012.

Caroline Masson (Gladbeck, Germany) – Was a two-time member of the European Junior Solheim Cup Team (2005 & 2007). Masson is a three-year member of the Ladies European Tour (2010-2012) and won the 2012 South African Women’s Open on the LET.  She recorded three runner-up finishes in 2012 and has 17 top-10 career finishes. Currently ranked No. 50 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings.

Sara-Maude Juneau @smjuneau_3 (Quebec, Canada) – Represented Canada at the 2010 Women's World Amateur Team Championship in Argentina. Juneau recorded five wins in collegiate competition while at the University of Louisville and was named the 2010 Big East Conference Player of the Year. She was a two-time NCGA All-American Honorable Mention selection (2010, 2011). A two-year member of the Symetra Tour, Juneau recorded six top-10 finishes in 2012 and was ranked 10th on the money list.

Lisa McClosky @LAM7SC (Houston, Texas) – Medalist at the 2012 USGA Public Links and runner-up in 2008. Four-time All-American while at USC and Pepperdine. McClosky was a 2012 U.S. Curtis Cup Team member and selected to the U.S. World Amateur Team.

Haley Millsap @HaleyMillsap (Pace, Fla.) – Had eight top-20 finishes and two top-10 finishes during her career at Ole Miss. She was also named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll, the Chancellor's Honor Roll and an NGCA All-American Scholar. Becomes the third player from the Ole Miss program to earn her LPGA Tour card, joining Dori Carter (2009) and Bernadette Luse (2000).

Kayla Mortellaro @KaylaMortellaro (Phoenix, Ariz.) – Recorded 10 victories in her career at the University of Idaho. Was twice named Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year (2010 & 2011) and a two-time Honorable Mention All-American (2010 & 2011). Qualified for the Tour on her first attempt.

Stephanie Na (Adelaide, Australia) – Was the top-ranked amateur in Australia in 2007 & 2008 and a member of the Australian National Team. Turned pro in 2009 and made 16 starts on the Ladies European Tour in 2012 with a season-best T4 at the ISPS Handa New Zealand Women’s Open.

Brooke Pancake @BrookePancake (Chattanooga, Tenn.) – Helped the University of Alabama win its first NCAA National Championship in program history in 2012 and was individual runner-up.  Pancake was named First-Team All-American and was awarded the 2012 Honda Award as the nation’s top collegiate golfer. Competed on the 2012 U.S. Curtis Cup Team.

Garrett Phillips @_garrett_girl (St. Simons Island, Ga.) – Former University of Georgia standout won the 2007 SEC Championship and helped the Bulldogs to a team title the same season. Competed on the Symetra Tour for three seasons (2009-2011). Qualified for the Tour on her second attempt (2008, 2012).

Nicole Smith @NicoleSmithGolf (Riverside, Calif.) – Had one win, in collegiate competition while at the University of Tennessee. She was a 2006 NCGA All-American Honorable Mention selection and a three-time All-SEC Second Team selection (2007 - 2009). Smith was three-year member of the Symetra Tour and recorded five top-10 finishes in 2012. She ranked first on Tour in Greens in Regulation (75 percent), birdies (172) and finished ninth on the money list.

Marina Stuetz (Linz, Austria) – Stuetz dominated competition in her native country Austria and was an 11-time Austrian champion. She had a runner-up finish at the European Amateur in 2012 and was the top amateur at LPGA Final Qualifying last week. Turned professional after she finished tied for 11th at Q School.

Ayako Uehara (Okinawa, Japan) – Uehara has three international professional victories, all on the JLPGA. She finished third at the LPGA’s 2012 Mizuno Classic. Made her way onto the LPGA Tour on her first attempt and hails from the same region of Japan as current LPGA Tour players Ai and Mike Miyazato.

Topics: Get to know, Rookie Spotlight

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