Blumenherst fires third-round 65 to take lead at LPGA Sectional Qualifying Tournament
PALM SPRINGS, Calif., Sept. 19, 2009 – Three rounds of play have been completed at the Palm Springs LPGA Sectional Qualifying Tournament, and Amanda Blumenherst takes a five stroke lead into the final round. After firing a 7-under-par 65 in round three on the Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club, Blumenherst has a three-day total score of 14-under-par 202.
The Scottsdale, Ariz., native now looks to continue her solid play for one more day in Palm Springs, Calif.
“I played really solid golf today,” Blumenherst said. “I just hit it great all day. I also putted really, really well today too. The only mis-hit one iron shot all day, so if you do that, you’ll have a good, low score. I have to continue to play like I’m playing, and just not think about the score. I have just been trying my hardest on every hole.”
The third-straight day of playing in triple-digit temperatures, Blumenherst doesn’t mind the heat wave.
“I don’t mind the heat,” she said. “I grew up in Arizona, so I am kind of used to it.”
Blumenherst is a three-time NCAA Player of the Year (2006-08) out of Duke University, and won 12 collegiate victories to her name. A four-time American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) Rolex All-American with 14 ALGA victories, Blumenherst has quite an accomplished amateur background. She was the U.S. Women’s Amateur champion in 2008 and runner-up in 2007, a member of the U.S. Curtis Cup Team in 2006 and 2008, and part of the U.S. World Amateur Team in 2006 and 2008 as well. Entering this week of LPGA qualifying, Blumenherst has plenty of experience on this Dinah Shore Tournament Course. In 2008, she was the low amateur at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the first major championship on the LPGA Tour’s schedule.
Finishing at 9-under-par 207 is Spain’s Azahara Munoz and Mallory Blackwelder of Kentucky. Munoz has her sights set on her first trip to Daytona Beach, Fla., for the final qualifying tournament, as she is competing in her first LPGA qualifier this week. The 2009 graduate of Arizona State University placed fourth individually at the NCAA Championships earlier this year, and led her team to its seventh national title. Munoz was the Pac-10 Scholar-Athlete of the Year, First-Team All-Pac-10 team member and a Golfweek First-Team All-American.
Blackwelder, recording a 5-under-par 67 on day three in Palm Springs, her lowest round of the week, also came in at 9-under-par 207. The Kentuckian has collegiate experience at both the University of Kentucky and University of Florida, where she has one collegiate victory as a member of each institution’s squad. In 2009, she was the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Scholar-Athlete of the Year, a three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll member, and was the 2009 State Farm Scholar-Athlete of the Month.
The 72-hole sectional is the first of two sectional qualifiers, and is being played on the Palmer and Dinah Shore Courses at Mission Hills Country Club. The Dinah Shore Course is the host site of the Tour’s first major of the season, the Kraft Nabisco Championship. The field will be cut to the low-70 players and ties after 36 holes. After four rounds, the top-30 players and ties will advance to the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament, Dec. 2-6, 2009, at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla.The second LPGA Tour Sectional Qualifying Tournament will be Sept. 29-Oct. 2, 2009, at Plantation Golf and Country Club’s Bobcat and Panther Courses in Venice, Fla. The top-30 finishers and ties from the Venice qualifier will join the top-30 players and ties from this week’s sectional qualifier at the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament. Making up the rest of the field in Daytona Beach will be current LPGA Tour members attempting to improve their priority standing and eligible Duramed FUTURES Tour players who automatically advanced based on their position on the 2009 season-ending money list.
Topics: Blumenherst, Amanda