LPGA International, Champions Course
Daytona Beach, Fla.
Final-round wrap story
July 29, 2011
Alexis Thompson Grabs Medalist Honors At LPGA Qualifying Tournament
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Florida teen Alexis Thompson of Florida was on a mission from the start when she arrived here earlier this week for Stage 1 of the LPGA Qualifying Tournament.
Thompson, 16, carded rounds of 66-66-66-67 to win medalist honors by 10 shots at 23-under 265 today on the Champions Course at LPGA International.
The big-hitting teen cruised through the 72-hole qualifier with only two bogeys in four rounds and dialed in the wayward driver that shook her confidence earlier this season.
“It was a great four days and I kept it so simple,” said Thompson, of Coral Springs, Fla., who carded six birdies and one bogey in today’s final round. “I was just focusing on target and tempo. It definitely is mission accomplished for this week.”
Thompson birdied the first hole of the Champions Course today when she stuck a fairway bunker shot to five feet. She bogeyed No. 3 when she failed to convert for par from a greenside bunker, but she chipped in for birdie on No. 4, and hit the green in two with a 6-iron on the par-5 fifth hole for a two-putt birdie.
“I came out relaxed and that’s when I play my best,” said Thompson, who turns 17 in February.
The Floridian added three more birdies on the back nine, rolling in a 12-footer on No. 13, another long putt on No. 14, and once again reached the green in two shots on the par-5 18th hole to convert for a two-putt birdie.
“I played junior golf with her when she was 12, and she was awesome then,” said Mitsuki Katahira of Kawasaki City, Japan, who carded a 4-under 68 today to finish second at 13-under 275. “She’s still an awesome player. She’s like a machine. She never misses.”
The former Daytona State College star started the week with a comfort level at LPGA International, which has been her home course for the last two years. But Katahira, the third-ranked player in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, could only chase for second-place honors as Thompson blistered the course for four days.
Amateur Mi Hyang Lee of Incheon, South Korea carded a final-round 65 today to move into third place at 12-under 276.
Amateur Emma De Groot (68) of Chattanooga, Tenn., and Ginger Howard (72) of Bradenton, Fla., tied for fourth at 11-under 277.
First-round leader Stephanie Kono (71) of Honolulu, Hawaii, a senior at UCLA, finished the week tied for eighth at 9-under 279.
But the focus this week was on Thompson’s first big step toward joining the 2012 LPGA Tour as a member. And the nearly 5-foot-11 teen executed it the way she had hoped coming into the tournament.
“It’s important to finish on top,” said Thompson, who will play in the Women’s Irish Open next week, followed by exemptions in three LPGA tournaments before Stage 2 of the LPGA Qualifying Tournament in late September.
This week’s first stage of the 2011 LPGA Qualifying Tournament included players who were not members of any recognized Rolex Ranked women’s golf tour or who were not ranked in the top-100 of the Rolex Rankings as of July 12, 2011.
The top-50 and ties will now advance into the second stage of the LPGA Qualifying Tournament, set for Sept. 27-30, at Plantation Golf and Country Club in Venice, Fla. The top 70 and ties from Stage II will advance into the final Qualifying Tournament Stage III.
The final Stage III Q-school will be contested over 90 holes and held Nov. 30 through Dec. 4, on both the Champions and Legends courses at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla. Top finishers in the final stage will earn 2012 LPGA membership (total number of cards TBD) and all others who make the cut will receive LPGA Futures Tour status.
Contact: Lisa Mickey, LPGA Communications, 386-214-9726 and email@example.com