LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament
LPGA International, Legends and Champions Course
Daytona Beach, Fla.
Dec. 6, 2009
Kempter, Wigger, Skarpnord share lead after three rounds of LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Dec. 6, 2009 – After a third round which took approximately 52 hours to complete due to heavy rains which cancelled play on Saturday and part of Friday, 105 hopefuls have played three full rounds at the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament on both the Legends and Champions Courses at LPGA International. New Mexico native Katie Kempter, Leah Wigger of Kentucky and Norwegian Marianne Skarpnord hold the 54-hole lead at 4-under-par 212.
Kempter (70-69-73) played her collegiate golf at the University of Denver, and picked up a pair of victories in 2007. This is her first time trying to qualify for LPGA Tour membership, but doesn't seem to be distracted with the delays that have taken place.
“I am impressed with how quickly they got the course ready,” said Kempter. “They did a good job. Actually I thought the greens were going to be slower, and they were playing faster. They had pretty good speed. I enjoyed them. I felt really comfortable out there on them.”
Wigger (69-73-70) is playing this week to improve her LPGA Tour status for the 2010 season, and has put herself in a nice position so far. This year on the LPGA Tour, Wigger played in 17 official tournaments and made four cuts. A year ago in 2008 she played in six events, making three cuts. Overall, the 25-year-old, like Kempter, isn't flustered that this week has gone longer than expected.
“It was good,” said Wigger. “I mean, it was pretty wet out there. It was just kind of a slow start. I hit a lot of good shots and kind of hung in there. I mean it's a little sloppy. Especially with being wet, it's good to have the length off the tee. So I definitely have that. I've been putting well, so you know, I actually left a couple of good birdie opportunities out there. I think the course is definitely scoreable, if you just can keep it in play.”
The Norwegian player, Skarpnord also finished her third round at 4-under-par 212 on the Legends Course of LPGA International, and will look to qualify for the LPGA Tour for the first time for the 2010 season. Skarpnord has played on the Ladies European Tour (LET) since 2007, and is a two-time winner. Earlier this season, Skarpnord won the Deutsche Bank Ladies Open and the Carta Ladies Italian Open. Overall in her time as part of the European tour, she has played in 60 tournaments, won twice, finishing in the top-10 14 times, and carded her career-low 66 four different times.
The five-day qualifier is played on both the 6,452-yard Legends and 6,389-yard Champions courses at LPGA International, with a 72-hole cut to the low-70 players and ties. Those players will then compete on Sunday on the Champions course for the final 18 holes of play.
The top 20 players at the conclusion of the event will earn Priority List Category 11. In the event of a tie, a playoff will decide the 20th position. Players finishing in the 21st through 30th spots will earn Priority List Category 16, followed by 31st to 40th, who will receive Priority List Category 20.
Q. Well, after a really long third round, how was it out there?
LEAH WIGGER: It was good. I mean, it was pretty wet out there. It was just kind of a slow start. I hit a lot of good shots and kind of hung in there.
Q. What did you do yesterday since play was suspended for the day?
LEAH WIGGER: Nothing. I just went out to lunch, Tijuana Flats and played a bunch of euchre with my parents.
Q. How many holes did you have left to play?
LEAH WIGGER: Well, I was on six green, so 12.
Q. I can remember you playing in some sloppy weather. How was it out there for you?
LEAH WIGGER: Yeah, I mean it's a little sloppy. Especially with being wet, it's good to have the length off the tee. So I definitely have that. I've been putting well, so you know, I actually left a couple of good birdie opportunities out there. I think the course is definitely scoreable, if you just can keep it in play.
Q. Can you fire at the pins? Are they holding?
LEAH WIGGER: Yeah, I think so. I mean definitely the Legends. I think the Champions might be a little dry, but the greens will probably still be soft. There really wasn't anything tricky about the wind today so far.
Q. How many birdies and how many bogeys out there today?
LEAH WIGGER: One birdie and one bogey.
Q. How was it out there?
KATIE KEMPTER: Yeah. I am impressed with how quickly they got the course ready. They did a good job.
Q. Any surprises?
KATIE KEMPTER: No. Actually I thought the greens were going to be slower, and they were faster. They had pretty good speed. I enjoyed them. I felt really comfortable out there on them.