Vargas Takes Over Lead At LPGA Sectional Qualifying
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Sept. 16, 2010 – Colombian Eileen Vargas played college golf at Pepperdine University, so she arrived at this week’s LPGA Sectional Qualifying Tournament in Rancho Mirage, Calif., with a sense of comfort.
And it was with that same ease that she carded her third consecutive round of 3-under 69 on the Dinah Shore Course at Mission Hills Country Club to move into the lead at 9-under 207 after three rounds. Recently completing her second full season on the Duramed FUTURES Tour, Vargas led today’s charge with her putter.
She played the front nine at one under, making her only birdie putt from nearly 40 feet on the second hole. The South American scrambled on the back, saving par from 25 feet on No. 10. But after Vargas bogeyed the 11th hole, she slammed in a 35-foot birdie putt on No. 16, chipped in from 20 yards for birdie on the 17th and then struck her pitching wedge to four feet from 108 yards on the last hole for her final birdie of the day.
“I’m very pleased with the way I played and it was a good day,” said Vargas, of Ibague, Colombia, who hit 12 greens and needed only 28 putts today. “A birdie is a birdie.”
Rookie professional Erica Moston of Belmont, Calif., who led this week’s Q-school sectional for the first two rounds, carded a 2-over 74 today to slip into second place at 8-under 208.
Amateur Jessica Korda of Bradenton, Fla., made a timely charge up the leaderboard, carding a round of 4-under 68 to move from ninth place into third. The 2010 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship runner-up has recorded rounds of 71-70-68 for a 7-under 209 total this week, posting six birdies and two bogeys in today’s round.
“I played a lot better today than the previous two days,” said Korda, 17, a member of the 2010 U.S. Curtis Cup team. “I like the golf course and I played here at the Kraft Nabisco Championship this year, so I just feel relaxed.”
Duramed FUTURES Tour 2010 rookies Sarah Brown (71) of Lopatcong Township, N.J., and Ayaka Kaneko of Honolulu, Hawaii, who carded the day’s low round of 5-under 67, moved into a tie for fourth at 5-under 211 with former UCLA collegian Sydnee Michaels (68) of Temecula, Calif.
This week’s event has been held on both the Arnold Palmer and the Dinah Shore courses at Mission Hills Country Club, home to the LPGA’s Kraft Nabisco Championship.
The California sectional is the first of two sectional Q-Schools to determine the field of the LPGA’s Final Qualifying Tournament, set for Dec. 8-12, at LPGA International on the Champions and Legends courses in Daytona Beach, Fla.
The Florida sectional tournament will be held Sept. 28 through October 1, in Venice, Fla., on the Panther and Bobcat courses at Plantation Golf and Country Club.
Qualifiers from the California and Florida sectionals will move on to the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament. The field at each of the 72-hole sectional tournaments is cut to the low-70 players and ties after 36 holes. After four rounds, the top-30 players and ties from each sectional will advance into the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament.
Both groups of sectional qualifiers will be joined at the final stage of LPGA Q-School by current LPGA Tour members attempting to improve their status for 2010, along with the players finishing sixth through 10th, plus the next 10 non-LPGA members on the 2010 Duramed FUTURES Tour season-ending money list.
The LPGA’s Final Q-School will be contested over 90 holes, with a cut made after 72 holes to the low 70 and ties.