LPGA Qualifying Tournament Stage I
Mission Hills Country Club
Rancho Mirage, Calif.
August 27, 2014
Round Two News and Notes
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (August 27, 2014) – Emily Tubert, Yu Liu and Kaylin Yost will share the 36 hole lead at Stage I of the LPGA Qualifying Tournament at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
The trio of golfers all sit at 5-under par, 139, for the tournament one stroke clear of Annie Park and Sammi Stevens. First round leader Liz Nagel sits three back at 2-under, 142, after a second round 76.
The Rancho Mirage Qualifier is the first of the LPGA Tour’s three qualifying events in 2014. The top-100 players and ties from this week 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.
DIFFERENT DAY SAME ENDING FOR EMILY TUBERT: In round one of qualifying school, Emily Tubert holed out from 42 yards for a walk-off eagle. Today, Tubert one again closed her day on a high note with an eagle.
“I busted a drive on 18 and had 210 to pin and hit a four iron to inside four feet and rolled it in to shoot one-under,” Tubert explained.
The eagle to close the day helped Tubert to post her second-consecutive round under par, with a 71, to put her in a prime position entering the final two rounds. Tubert currently sits in a tie for first place overall at 139 (-5) for the tournament.
“I was a little bit more in my head today,” Tubert admitted. “The swing was a little bit more guidey and what was nice was on 18 I just let it rip and it goes straight. I don’t know. Sometimes I just play with fear and get in my own way but I’m going to go to the range after this and figure it out and try to get some confidence back.”
Tubert, who earned the Dinah Shore Trophy earlier this summer, is bringing the same approach to her final two days as she had for the first two rounds.
“Continue doing what I’m doing,” Tubert said for her plan the rest of the way. “My approach is fairways and greens. Give yourself looks and if one goes in then great but I’m just trying to make pars. That’s the gameplan and so far it’s working out alright.”
With that approach, Tubert is looking to claim a spot on the LPGA Tour, a place where she was able to compete a handful of times during her time at the University of Arkansas when she received sponsors invites into the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship and qualified for the U.S. Open in 2013.
“I feel like I belong out there,” Tubert said confidently. “I felt that when I’ve played in Arkansas. I felt that when I played in the U.S. Open last year. There’s a sense of calm and a sense of belonging. It’s just a matter of getting there. We’ll see how that happens. It’s just a matter of time whether it’s through Q School or Symetra. Who knows what the journey to get there will be but I feel like I belong out there and that I’ll get there.”
KAYLIN YOST USING NEW TOOLS TO HELP HER GAME: Kaylin Yost backed up an opening round 71 one the Dinah Course with an impressive 68 on the Palmer Course to sit in a tie for first at 5-under after the first two rounds of Stage I of Qualifying school.
“I’m just trying to make it as a pro,” Yost said. “I turned pro as soon as I finished school at Campbell. I’ve played a couple of Sun Coast events in Florida. I’m just excited to be out here. Like I tell everyone it’s a marathon not a sprint and I’m just trying to do my best to make it to Second Stage.”
One of the things Yost has credited her success this week to is a new putter that she put in her bag for the first time during Monday’s practice round.
“I actually made the brave decision three days ago when my brother was like ‘maybe you should try a new putter’ so I bought a Scotty Cameron GoLo,” Yost said. “I had my brother fix up my stance and ever since that I’ve had a lot of confidence especially inside of 15 feet. I think today I had 10 one putts. If I’d miss a green I’d get up and down. I just have a lot of confidence and I think that’s huge with putting.”
Yost is also quick to give credit to her brother who is serving as her caddy this week.
“My brother is really good at reading greens, and that’s something I tend to struggle at, so he’s been a huge asset too,” Yost said. “He’s been out here for three weeks and I’m grateful to have him on the bag. I’ve been playing with him since I was nine and he made me competitive.”
While many golfers may know the feeling of switching to a new putter, most haven’t had to deal with another switch that Yost had to make, a new hearing aid.
“I love being hearing impaired,” Yost proudly exclaimed. “It’s my story. I’ve been hearing impaired since I was two. It’s always been a part of me.”
KATHERINE PERRY CLIMBS UP THE LEADERBOARD ON DAY 2: Katherine Perry’s first day of Qualifying School didn’t go as well as she had planned when she opened with a 74 but Perry kept her composure and was able to fire a bogey free, 5-under, 67 to take herself from a tie for 65th after the first day into a more secure tie for sixth following day two.
“I tried not to set any because I knew that could lead to some frustration out on the course,” Perry admitted. “Whatever happens, happens and thankfully it’s gone well so far.”
Perry started her day with birdie and didn’t look back en route to a tie for the low round of the day on the Palmer Course.
“I worked hard all summer on my swing, on my short game, on my putting,” Perry explained of her approach to the week. “Putting is really a big factor for me and I feel a lot more confident with it.”
The UNC grad was able to use some of her Tar Heel connections for advice heading into Qualifying School for the first time.
“Yeah absolutely I picked their brains especially Allie White and Catherine O’Donnell,” Perry said. “They’ve been big mentors for me. They told me not to let things get to me too much and just focus on my game.”
Perry can also pick the brain of her Dad who will is on her bag this week.
“This is the first big tournament that he’s been on the bag for and it’s been really fun,” Perry said with a smile. “He keeps me calm out there which is nice.”
ALISON LEE HAS A PLAN: Alison Lee is regarded as one of the top amateur golfers in the country as she has won countless junior events and took home the ANNIKA Award, given to the nation’s top collegiate female golfer, this past season as a freshman at UCLA.
It may not surprise many that she is at Q School trying for a shot at the LPGA Tour. What may surprise some is that she has planned out her whole year based on how she performs through the qualifying process.
“I’ve planned it out. If I were to get my Tour card this year I’d still be able to take a quarter of school without missing any class,” Lee explained. “I looked at the schedule and I think that I’d be able to do it. That’s what I want to do. I really enjoy school. I really love the new friends that I’ve made there. The atmosphere there is just great and I know if I let it go now I can’t go back to school.”
If Lee keeps up her solid play she should be in good shape to further her journey in making that dream a reality following back-to-back rounds of 71 to sit at 2-under through her second round of Qualifying School Stage I.
“You know, I feel like I’ve been playing steady,” Lee said. “I shot 1-under today and 1-under yesterday so if I just keep it going like this and play my game for the next two days I think I should be fine.”
While Lee is excited to take a run at her 2015 LPGA Tour Card she isn’t putting too much pressure on herself this week.
“I’m not taking this too seriously,” Lee explained. “I’m looking at it lightly because no matter what, even if I don’t make it, I still have a backup plan and I’m going to be playing for UCLA. I leave right after this to play in Japan for the World Amateur and then a week after that I’m going to South Carolina to play for UCLA in a team event so I’m just treating this week like another tournament and not stressing myself out too much.”