Mission Hills Country Club
Rancho Mirage, Calif.
August 9, 2015
Round 4 News and Notes
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (August 9, 2015) – Bertine Strauss never took her foot off the gas pedal this week at the LPGA Qualifying Tournament. The South African picked a great week to shoot her lowest four-day total ever. Strauss recorded a 14-under 274 (67-67-70-70) to lead the way of 59 other golfers advancing to Stage II.
“I feel relieved,” said Strauss. “This a good confidence builder for me for the rest of the year. This is the lowest four-day total I’ve ever shot, so it gives me the confidence to know what I am capable of.”
Seventeen-year old Megan Khang was neck and neck with Strauss all week and recorded a 3-under 69 in the final round to finish one shot behind Strauss. Although Khang shot an impressive 275 (69-65-72-69), she walked off the course feeling a bit disappointed today.
“All of my mistakes were on the putting green,” said Khang. “I three-putted 3 holes and it’s a bummer that the last hole was one of them.”
Khang is in the field next week at the Symetra Tour’s W.B. Mason Championship at her home course, Thorny Lea Golf Club, and then heads to Germany for the Junior Solehim Cup before playing Stage II at Plantation Golf and Country Club in Venice, Fla. on October 22-25.
Nelly Korda had another 68 on Sunday which puts her at solo third with a 281. Haley Davis and Noemi Jimenez tied for fourth with a four-day total 282.
OTHER NOTABLE NAMES ADVANCING TO STAGE II: Gaby Lopez (2015 NCAA Individual Runner-Up): 6, 283 (69-71-72-71); Nuria Iturrios (No. 8 ranked amateur): T7, 283 (70-71-73-70); Emma Talley (2015 NCAA Individual Champion): T25, 288 (72-72-73-71); Erynne Lee (2014 Curtis Cup Team): T48, 292 (72-74-75-71)
BACK-TO-BACK 68’S FOR KORDA: Nelly Korda handled the pressure of Stage I beautifully this week at Mission Hills Country Club. Her final round 68 and four-day total of 7-under 281 (72-73-68-68) puts her in a solo third place finish.
“I was hitting it really well and putting really well today,” said Korda. “Everything kind of clicked so I’m very happy.”
After playing in the ANA Inspiration in 2014 and 2015, Korda is no stranger to the Dinah Shore Course. Although she didn’t perform to the best of her abilities in the major championship, her opinion of the course has changed for the better.
“I’ve never played well at ANA, so I didn’t know how I was going to do this week,” laughed Korda.
With her dad on her bag, the two head straight to Portland for the U.S. Women’s Amateur. She will join her sister, Jessica Korda, who will be in Portland as well for LPGA’s Cambia Portland Classic.
FORMER LPGA PRO FALLS JUST SHORT: Simi Mehra of Kalkotta, India hasn’t played on the LPGA Tour since 2007. The 9-year veteran began her comeback this week in Rancho Mirage. What she’s doing for her country is far more important than how she played this week.
After all, Mehra is the reason why women’s professional golf exists in India.
“In 2006, that was my ninth year on tour, I learned a lot from the LPGA,” said Mehra. “I learned how to give. I learned how to give back. I saw Lorena do it in Mexico and I said, ‘I have to do something in India.’”
Mehra was the only professional golfer that the country had. She realized it was time to make a change and give women an opportunity.
“I started a skins game to get the ball rolling. I did a survey and there were 7 or 8 girls under the age of 18 playing golf in the entire country, out of 1.3 billion people!”
Now, thanks to Mehra and her efforts, India has over 800 women golfers in the game.
GABY LOPEZ HEADS TO U.S. WOMEN’S AM ON A HIGH NOTE: Gaby Lopez won’t have any time to celebrate her sixth place finish at the LPGA’s Stage I Qualifying School. No, the celebration of her progression on to Stage II will have to wait.
Instead, Lopez, and her brother, Jose, who was on the bag this week, are right back to work with an evening flight to Portland for a tee time Monday in the first round of stroke play at the U.S. Women’s Amateur. But although it’s a quick turnaround and her course prep will be minimal, she’s feeling in fine form heading into next week.
“Overall it was fun to see my golf swing and my ball striking really solid. For next week I need to hit it solid, because I’m not going to have a practice round,” said Lopez.
While her 1:25 tee time tomorrow in Portland should give her plenty of time for rest, the University of Arkansas senior will enter the course without having seen it on Monday. She does have some friends from Mexico and teammates in the field that arrived this weekend and already has plans to meet with them in the morning and go over their yardage books.
“I’m really excited for tomorrow, but I’m really proud of myself and my brother for this week.”