First of two LPGA qualifying tournaments begins this week

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A field of 139 players hoping to earn LPGA Tour membership for the 2010 season will tee it up at this week's LPGA Sectional Qualifying Tournament, Sept. 17-20, 2009, at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif. This marks the first of two sectional qualifiers this season.

Among the hopefuls in the field are Amanda Blumenherst, the 2008 U.S. Women's Amateur Champion; 2009 Ladies European Tour (LET) winners Beatriz Recari (Finnair Masters) and Marianne Skarpnord (Deutsche Bank Ladies Swiss Open), and Mallory Blackwelder, daughter of veteran LPGA member and University of Kentucky women's golf coach Myra Blackwelder.
  
In the LPGA's nearly 60-year history, only a handful of daughters of LPGA Tour members have tried to compete on or qualify for the LPGA, but none have earned LPGA membership. Kay Cornelius, daughter of 1956 U.S. Women's Open champion Kathy Cornelius tried unsuccessfully to qualify in the late '80s following a successful amateur and collegiate career. Three-time U.S. Women's Open champion Susie Maxwell Berning and her daughter, Robin, became the first mother-daughter combo to compete in the same LPGA event when they played the 1989 Konica San Jose Classic.
  
This week's field once again showcases the international reach of the LPGA Tour and women's golf. In all, 52 of the 139 players in the Southern California qualifier are from outside the United States. Eleven players born in South Korea lead the way, followed by six from Canada, four born in Australia, Japan, Spain and Sweden, respectively, and three each from Norway and Columbia. Other countries represented include Ecuador (1), Finland (1), France (1), Germany (2), Greece (1), Mexico (1), Scotland (2), Switzerland (1), Taiwan (2), Thailand (1) and Venezuela (1).
  
Within the United States, 33 states are represented in the first LPGA Sectional Qualifying Tournament as California leads the way with 24 entrants. Florida (9), Arizona (6), Hawaii (4) and Nevada (3) are also well-represented.

The 72-hole sectional will be 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 next 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.
  
All media interested in covering the upcoming LPGA Sectional Qualifying Tournaments and the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament should apply for credentials at www.lpgamediacredentials.com.

Topics: Press Release

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