DAYTONA BEACH, FLA, December 3, 2016 - Jaye Marie Green (Boca Raton, Florida) continued her stellar play with a 2-under, 70 on the Hills course on Saturday to grab the 72-hole lead at 15-under, 273. With one round left, she is two-shots clear of Olafia Kristinsdottir (Reykjavik, Iceland), who carded a 68 on the Jones course to get to 13-under. Sadena Parks (Scottsdale, Ariz.) is in third place at 12-under, 276.
There are four players tied for 19th at 4-under, 284.
“After two practice rounds (and four tournament rounds), it feels good to be at the top of the leaderboard after six rounds of golf,” said Green, who had a clean back nine with two birdies and no bogeys. “This will certainly remove some stress that this whole week brings and I feel confident. I didn’t hit the ball well today, but I hung in there.”
Green survived an uneven front nine that included a double-bogey on seven.
“I was 2-over through seven and I was like ‘oh gosh’ and I started thinking about the top 20 and thinking what is going on here,” admitted Green. “It is so good to be able to pull it back. To finish 2-under par after a bad start definitely helps the confidence.”
Green can become the first player to win Final Stage of LPGA Qualifying Tournament twice since it was moved to Daytona Beach in 1991. She was the medalist in 2013 when she totaled a record 29-under.
Meanwhile, Kristinsdottir is inching closer-and-closer to becoming the first player from Iceland to play the LPGA. She carded a 4-under, 68 - her third straight round in the 60’s - to move to 13-under, 275. The former Wake Forest golfer has made 19 birdies against just four bogeys over the last three rounds.
“This morning, I was not feeling so great on the range because I had something in my back so I was just trying to take it easy a little,” said Kristinsdottir. “It ended up being fine, I only hit two crooked shots today because of my back. Everything else was fine, I tried to have good rhythm and my putter was smoking hot.”
She finished her round with three birdies over her final six holes.
Kristinsdottir played in seven events on the Ladies European Tour as a rookie and is 96th on the Order of Merit. She finished T26 in Abu Dhabi in early November.
“Q-School is a lot about being mentally tough so I’m going to try and be patient tomorrow,” explained Kristinsdottir. “I don’t want to think too much about the result, it is not over.”
The 72-hole cut was made at 2-over, 290 and exactly 70 players will tee it up on Sunday in the final-round. Players that finish in the top 20 (no ties) will earn LPGA Tour membership in category 12 while those that finish 21-45 (including ties) will earn membership in category 17. If necessary, there will be a playoff for the final spots in category 12 (full membership) only. The final-round will begin at 7:30 a.m. and will be contested on the Hills course only.
NO. 2 AMATEUR BRONTE LAW HOPING PUTTS DROP ON SUNDAY
Bronte Law (Manchester, England) was hoping to be in a more comfortable spot heading into the final-round, but she gave her self a shot after a 2-under, 70 on Saturday to move to 2-under through four rounds. She is T30 with 18 holes left.
“I created a lot of chances today, but I wasn’t really making anything,” said Law, who made three birdies against one bogey. “Towards the end, I made two really good birdies to put myself right back in there. My putts on 17 and 18 just slid by. Overall, I’m pretty pleased with my round and I’m hoping those putts are going to go in tomorrow.”
Law, who is the No. 2 ranked amateur in the world and the reigning ANNIKA Award winner, posted rounds of 75-68-73-70.
“This is the opportunity (LPGA) I’ve been waiting on for a long time,” said Law. “I was hoping to play a little better as I was playing very well coming in. My swing feels good and I’m really hoping that I get that low round tomorrow because I’m really looking to get that card.”
ALLEN TO SPLIT TIME BETWEEN EUROPE / US IF EARNS STATUS
Beth Allen (San Diego, Calif.) has had too much success in Europe to commit to a full-time LPGA schedule even if she earns full status for the first time since 2008 on Sunday.
She posted a 4-under, 68 on the Jones course on Saturday to move to 9-under, 279.
“I’m not leaving Europe, I know that,” said Allen. “I haven’t seen the LPGA schedule yet on purpose, but I know it is going to be great, and hopefully I can earn status tomorrow and have the chance to pick and choose my schedule.”
Allen, the Order of Merit leader on the Ladies European Tour, has posted rounds of 71-72-68-68. She is the highest ranked player in the field according to the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings at No. 63.
O’HARA HOPING FOR SECOND CHANCE AT LPGA WITH BRO ON BAG
Therese O’Hara (Copenhagen, Denmark) carded a 4-under, 68 on the Jones course on Saturday to give herself a chance at a full LPGA card on Sunday. O’Hara moved from T62 to T30.
It’s almost eerily similar to what happened to O’Hara (then Koelbaek) at 2014 Final Stage. She was in a tie for 25th headed into the final-round and posted a 71 to finish T11 and earn a Tour card.
“I just remember being very calm and relaxed,” said O’Hara after her strong round today about two years ago. “I just remember having fun with my brother (Martin) and relaxing in between.”
O’Hara asked her brother to caddy again this year and he couldn’t refuse.
Now, she is one round away from getting back to the LPGA full-time after spending 2016 on the Symetra Tour.
“I knew I needed a low one today and I think I’ll need a really low one tomorrow,” said O’Hara. “I’m just going to go out and attack. I got on a roll today so hopefully I can keep it going.”
DORI CARTER POSTS ROUND OF TOURNAMENT
Dori Carter (Valdosta, Ga.) made the biggest move on Saturday climbing from T62 into the top-10 thanks to a fourth round 63 on the Jones Course.
“A lot of positives,” Carter said of her round. “Finally some hard work paying off or maybe it’s just finally getting out of my own way and letting it happen and starting believing that I belong on Tour and I belong in the top-20 and I deserve one of those cards and I’m going to go get it kind of thing so today was a big boost to that ultimate goal of getting back on Tour.”
Making her 9-under round even more impressive is the fact that Carter was even through her first eight holes.
“I hit a decent shot on nine and made the putt and then I made the turn and holed out from the fairway and it was like wow I finally got a break and I thought let it happen and keep going,” Carter explained. “I have a good caddie that kept me in it and kept me calm and laughing. We just went from shot to shot and just kept trying to hit a good shot. I’m so proud of myself. I don’t mean to toot my own horn but on the last three or four holes I started feeling it a little bit but I hung in there and I played really well coming down the stretch and now I’m just wishing that I could start round five right now.”
Carter has played on the LPGA since 2011 with her best year coming in 2014 when she finished 70th on the money list.
“I’m not leading the tournament like I’d like to be but today was a huge help,” Carter said. “I’m not going to ease up on this at all. You’ve got to keep your head down and it’s Q-School so you can’t let up on the gas you’ve got to keep going. My goal is to win this tournament and it looks like I still have a ways to go but I’m going to try my best tomorrow.”
OLYMPIAN ASHOK IN HUNT FOR TOP 20
Aditi Ashok (Bangalore, India) finds herself right in the mix heading into the final day of LPGA Q-School in a tie for 23rd place after a fourth round 71.
“I think I played pretty well today,” Ashok said. “I made four birdies and only shot 1-under but still it was a good day for me. I feel like I’ve been playing better through the week and hopefully I can play better tomorrow.”
Ashok, a two-time winner on the Ladies European Tour so far in 2016, believes that today’s round on the Hills Course will serve her well heading into the final day.
“I think it’s good that I played the Hills Course today,” Ashok explained. “I kind of like the Hills Course more and we play that tomorrow. The greens are faster on the Hills so I like that. Hopefully my game comes together tomorrow.”
- The youngest player in the field, Nasa Hataoka, posted a 3-over, 75 on the Hills course, but still stands in fourth place at 11-under.
- Stanford teammates Mariah Stackhouse and Lauren Kim are tied for 23rd at 3-under, 284.
- Symetra Tour winner Augusta James carded another 69. She posted back-to back 76’s to start Qualifying Tournament, but has fought back to make the cut and is now T61.
- Former Dinah Shore Award recipient Emily Tubert carded her low-round of 69 to move to T37
- Canada’s Jennifer Ha carded a 5-under, 67 to move to T7 at 8-under, 280. She is the only Canadian in the top 50.
- Holly Clyburn withdrew before round four citing illness.