LPGA Qualifying Tournament Stage I
Mission Hills Country Club
Rancho Mirage, Calif.
August 29, 2014
Final Round News and Notes
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (August 29, 2014) – Emily Tubert shot a final round 70 to finish with a 12-under, 276, for the week and claim medalist honors by five strokes over Annie Park at Stage I of the LPGA Qualifying Tournament at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
102 players who finished at 298 (+10) or better will advance to the second stage of the LPGA Qualifying Tournament at Plantation Golf and Country Club in Venice, Fla., from Sept. 30 – Oct. 4. A minimum of the top 80 and ties from Stage II will advance into the Final Qualifying Tournament.
Stage III of LPGA Q-School will be contested over 90 holes Dec. 3-7, at the LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla. Top finishers in the final stage will earn 2015 LPGA membership.
EMILY TUBERT SHINES IN HER HOME STATE: Emily Tubert fired four rounds under par and cruised to medalist honors at Stage I of LPGA Qualifying at Mission Hills.
“It’s nuts,” Tubert said. “I think growing up playing golf you hear about Q-School and how it’s such a grind and this was my first go at it and I think to walk away as medalist is amazing.”
Tubert wrapped up her week in style with a final round 70 to win by an impressive five strokes.
“It’s a strong field,” Tubert explained. “There’s a lot of great players and I think I need to take away a lot of positives and I think I need to allow myself to really believe that I’m great at what I do. Like I’ve said, I struggled a lot with confidence. My last couple of years at college were rough mentally between the ears and I think that finishing 12-under for four days in the heat at first stage of Q-School just proves to me once more that I can hang and play this game at a high level.”
A pair of people who helped her believe this week were her parents, Marcelo and Lori. Her dad, an actor, made the long commute back-and-forth from Los Angeles every day of the week to watch her play, coming in time to catch her walk-off eagles on Tuesday and Wednesday. While her mother, who helps with her mental game, was around all week to provide support.
“I talked a lot with my mom who helped me with my mental game and she said it’s just another step in your journey and we’re just going to go out and see what it is,” Tubert said. “My game plan coming into this week was fairways and greens and if I can roll in a couple of putts then fantastic but I just wanted to play solid and I think I exceeded my expectations.”
Several other people helped Tubert leading into this week including her swing coach, Zach Allen, back in Burbank.
“He’s fantastic,” Tubert said. “We’ve worked a lot on my swing since I’ve been back from college. We did the long distance thing for four years and so it’s been great to come home and get some quality time with him. I think he’s fantastic and I feel like my swing is heading in a great direction so kudos to Zach. My game is a direct result of what he’s taught me.”
While her parents and swing coach helped Tubert leading up to the event, she also credits the man on her bag, her good friend Segik Sarkisian, for keeping her loose and confident during the hot rounds in the desert.
“I just really tried to have fun because I tend to play my best when I’m loose and having a good time and with Sergik, we’ve played together for nine years and I’ve been playing golf for nine years so he knows my game very well,” Tubert explained. “I think it was just nice to have somebody on my bag who I was comfortable with. He came down. He’s so fantastic. Q School is something that I’ve never done before and it can be a daunting event so to have that security blanket when everything else is new and different there’s something familiar. Someone that I trust. Someone who knows my game and knows me. He knows when he needs to give me a little kick in the butt and he knows when he has to lay off and give me space. We’re constantly cutting it up out there. I’m just so grateful that he came out.”
The Arkansas grad will take a little time to visit her Alma Mater before getting back on the grind with some more golf.
“I’m going to head to Arkansas for a week for a little reunion,” Tubert said of her plans prior to Stage II. “Then I’m going to play in a Cactus Tour event to stay competing and keep the competitive juices flowing and then I think it’ll be about time to head to Florida.”
CANADIAN AM CHAMP AUGUSTA JAMES COMFORTABLY ON TO STAGE II: Earlier this summer, Augusta James captured the Canadian Amateur in convincing fashion with a 6-stroke victory. Now the rising senior at North Carolina State is hoping to ride that wave of momentum to an LPGA Tour card.
“I played pretty well,” James said. “I felt like I left a few shots out there which is good because it gives me some things to work on before World Am next week, my college tournaments and then Stage II.”
James, who finished her week at 1-under 287, is one of several members of the Golf Canada program who were in action at Mission Hills this week.
“It’s been a phenomenal experience,” James said of her time with Golf Canada. “I’ve been with the program for four years and the financial support and extensive coaching, IST staff and everything it’s been an incredible experience and I couldn’t be where I am today without it. They take you to so many events that you gain so much knowledge and experience from that it’s priceless.”
The Kingston, Ontario, native will options if she were to make it through the Qualifying Process.
“My goal from day one of freshman year has always been to graduate from NC State and so that will be the plan unless I were to obtain my full LPGA Tour card. Speaking with coaches obviously that will be a very difficult decision and that’s why I want to see what happens as I continue to progress during this process.”
“I’m close with a lot of girls who went through this process,” James continued. “Some have got their LPGA Tour Card and some who are playing on Symetra Tour so it’s been interesting seeing how the process is for everybody and how they deal with it differently and I just hope to take the good parts of everybody’s experiences and try and piece them together for myself.”
LAETITIA BECK LOOKING TO MAKE MORE HISTORY: Laetitia Beck was the first Israeli to play in an LPGA event earlier this summer at the RICOH Women’s British Open. Now she will continue her journey to become the first full-time Israeli on the LPGA at Stage II in Venice, Fla., after finishing the week at 1-over 289.
“I came here to advance to the next stage and have fun,” Beck said. “I’m taking every stage one at a time and trying to play my best game and obviously if I do well it will be amazing for me and my country but I just want to enjoy myself and try my best.”
Beck says that the experience at the British was a good experience to draw from as she starts her professional career.
“The experience helped me,” Beck said. “It was my first time playing as a professional so the adjustments were in my head because it was a different way to approach the situation I was in. It was a great experience and this was a great experience too. From now on I’m sure that every new situation will help my game.”
While Beck is on to the next stage it didn’t come without its challenges.
“I thought it was going to be a little easier,” Beck admitted. “I was getting pretty stressed in the beginning of the week because I wasn’t hitting it so well but then I just tried to enjoy the experience and not expect too much.”
JORDAN BRITT BOUNCES BACK FROM ROUGH START TO MOVE ON TO STAGE II: Jordan Britt was able to comfortably move on to Stage II of Qualifying School thanks to an even par round of 72 to finish the week at 5-over 293.
“It’s been a hot week but I fought every single day,” Britt said. “I think it was a solid week, other than my first nine holes it was solid.”
After her first nine holes of the week things weren’t looking too good for the recent UT-Chattanooga grad.
“It started off a little rough,” Britt admitted. “My first nine holes I shot 42 but just started thinking ok you’ve got to get this back.”
And get it back she did shooting two-under for her last 63 holes.
“It reminds me that I am a good player and that I can do this,” Britt said.
Britt will now make the trip to Venice for Stage II where she will enter with confidence.
“I’m excited,” Britt said. “I hope that I can get out there and do the same thing.”