Leticia Ras-Anderica is at the Final Stage of LPGA Qualifying Tournament for the first time, but you’d have no idea if you watched her play or spent a few minutes around her. She came in with the goal of firing five rounds of 70 and is 4-under with two rounds of 70 thus far. Of 166 in the field, she’s in third place.
After graduating from the University of Miami in 2015, she gave LPGA Q-School a go for the first time, but didn’t advance out of Stage II, so she went to compete on the Ladies European Tour (LET).
“I feel much more prepared now,” said Ras-Anderica, whose mom is German and dad is Spanish. “I think I needed the experience of playing more on the LET, but now I feel ready.”
Ras-Anderica was born in Spain and spent her whole life there, but you might notice that the country flag next to her name is the German flag. She switched last year as a “business decision” because of the funds and resources that the German National Team provides.
Growing up in Spain, she idolized the late Seve Ballesteros, who won 91 times all around the world including nine times on the PGA TOUR. Although she never got to see him play, her coach, Jose Manuel Carriles, grew up at the same club as Ballesteros and relays stories to her.
“I’ve always been a huge fan of Seve and my coach always has great stories about the way he plays,” said Ras-Anderica. “His short game was amazing and just growing up in Spain, he is who I look up to.”
Carriles plays on the Challenge Tour in Europe and has two career wins. He is the only coach Ras-Anderica has ever known.
Surprisingly, Ras-Anderica said she feels quite relaxed this week.
“I was telling my caddie that I don’t feel like I’m in a tournament, I feel like I’m in la-la land,” joked Ras-Anderica. “He’s having me play pretty conservatively to try and avoid mistakes and if I make putts that’s great. It’s just a different game this week.”
She also has a good friend and former college teammate along for the ride. Ras-Anderica played with Daniela Darquea, who finished 11th on the Symetra Tour money list, at the University of Miami. The two have remained good friends. By coincidence, they are staying in the same hotel this week and are actually just a room apart.
They almost never met. While the family visited Miami every summer from Spain, she applied to a lot of colleges, but not Miami because she didn’t think they had a scholarship available. Every summer, she would attend Jim McLean’s golf camp at Doral.
“I was quite familiar with Miami and was playing in an amateur tournament at Doral and the Miami coach came to see me and said there was a spot available,” explained Ras-Anderica. “I never saw the school and wasn’t familiar with the situation, but I knew Miami and decided to go.”
When she’s not on the course, she loves to paint and draw. She studied art and photography at the University of Miami.
This week, LPGA International has provided the perfect canvas to achieve the LPGA dream.