Over the next several weeks LPGA.com will take a look back at Symetra Tour players landing inside the top-10. This edition of the 'Meet the Symetra Tour Grads" features Alena Sharp. She had five top finishes including career best second place finish at the VisitMesa.com Gateway Classic at Longbow Golf Club and the Volvik Championship. She finished ranked No. 9 in the Volvik Race for the Card and earned LPGA status for the 2014 season.
After firing a scorching 7-under 65 in the second-round of the Volvik Championship, Alena Sharp stood 2-strokes off the lead and had some difficult decisions to make. The Hamilton, Ontario native came into the week’s penultimate event No. 16 on the Volvik Race for the Card and was in the hunt to land inside the top-10 and earn her LPGA Tour card for next season.
While Sharp currently has LPGA Tour status, a season that has included only three made cuts in her first 12 starts, could force the eight year LPGA Tour member to return to Q-School if she wants to improve her LPGA Tour status.
A win that week however could have moved Sharp inside the Volvik Race for the Card top-10, putting her in a prime spot to earn fully-exempt status on next year’s LPGA Tour allowing her to bypass Q-School. While a win would have been nice, it would have left Sharp with a difficult decision as the Tour geared-up for its season finale at the Symetra Tour Championship.
If Sharp wanted to make it inside the top-10 on the Race she would have to play in the season finale but it fell the same time as her third annual Bader/Sharp shootout charity event.
“My charity event was the same week as the Symetra Tour Championship and I really didn't know what to do, If I’m going to come out and play Daytona,” said Sharp. “I’m close on the money list out here, I didn’t have a great year on the LPGA, I’d have status but I’d have to go back to Q-School to better it so I’ll make a decision tomorrow after the money has been posted. My plans are to go back to Phoenix on Monday and get organized for the charity tournament. If I have to come back I’ll take the redeye on Tuesday night.”
The decision to play in the season-ending event proved to be a good choice for Sharp as she finished No. 9 on the Volvik Race for the Card earning full status for the 2014 LPGA Season.