Final Stage of the LPGA Qualifying Tournament
LPGA International – Jones & Hills Courses
Daytona Beach, Florida
Third-Round News & Notes
December 5, 2014
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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., December 5, 2014 – Ha Na Jang (Seoul, South Korea) backed up a second round 65 on the Hills Course with a third round 66 at the Jones Course to jump from eighth place into a three-shot lead at 11-under, 205, at LPGA International.
“I have all of my shots and short game going and the thing I need to work on is not giving myself too much pressure,” Jang said. “I need to think of it as let’s just make the top-20. I don’t need to win this one to get my card. I want to make less bogeys and just make pars to keep it calm.”
The No. 25 ranked golfer in the latest installment of the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings used eight birdies against a pair of bogeys to card her 6-under round on the Jones Course. The third round was a stark contrast from her first round at the Jones Course where she shot 2-over 74. Jang admitted to feeling some nerves when she started her week in Daytona Beach.
“I think the first round the pressure was too much,” Jang admitted. “The second day and third day my driver is better, my second shots are better and I’ve putted really nice this week.”
While Jang was successful on the Jones Course today she is looking forward to heading back to the Hills Course.
“Yeah it’s great,” Jang said of going back to play the Jones Course. “I actually like the Hills Course more so I’ll be a little bit more comfortable and relaxed.”
Ju Young Park (Seoul, South Korea), Alison Lee (Valencia, Calif.) and Simin Feng (Beijing, China) are three shots behind Jang at 8-under, 208.
Following tomorrow’s round, the field will be cut to the top-70 players and ties. Players who finish in the top-20, after Sunday’s final round, will earn membership through category 12 on the LPGA Tour priority list while those who finish 21 through 45 with earn membership through category 17.
In laymen’s terms, players who finish in the top 20 will have “full-time” status on the LPGA Tour while players that finish 21 through 45 will have “conditional” status.
ALISON LEE MAKES A MOVE ON DAY THREE: Alison Lee (Valencia, Calif.) jumped up into a tie for second thanks to an impressive 5-under, 67, on the Jones Course to sit at 8-under, 208, for her Final Stage of the LPGA Qualifying School.
“I feel like I’ve been pretty consistent,” Lee said. “I feel pretty confident out here. I’m not giving myself too much pressure while I’m out on the golf course. I’m just trying to enjoy my time being here and just trying to play my game.”
As one of the nine amateurs in the field this week, Lee would have a big decision to make should she make the top-20.
“I’ve already talked to my coach and a lot of people about it but if I get my full status on Tour I will decide to accept it and turn pro but I think I’m really lucky to be out here and have a plan B,” Lee explained. “I think that’s why I’m playing with a lot less pressure because even if I don’t get my card I can still go back to school and play for the team.”
While the UCLA product has a plan she won’t be thinking about it on the course.
“I try not to think about it too much,” Lee admitted. “I try to have the same mentality that I had today, and in the past two days, and not overthink it.”
In three tournaments as a sophomore at UCLA, Lee has posted a tie for second, a tie for 16th and a win at the PAC12 Preview in early November.
CHEYENNE WOODS REBOUNDS ON FRIDAY: Following a second round 79 on the Jones Course, Cheyenne Woods (Phoenix, Ariz.) found herself in 94th place on the leaderboard needing to make a charge to just make the final day. A third-round 67 on the Jones Course was just what the Wake Forest product needed as she now sits in a tie for 31st at 2-under, 214, with two rounds remaining.
“I just wanted to come back out and play free and play the game that I know that I’m capable of,” Woods said. “I did a little bit of everything yesterday on the range and just worked some stuff out and found it again. It never went anywhere.”
Woods had it working on Friday’s round with seven birdies against a pair of bogeys for her 5-under round to put her back in contention for her 2015 LPGA Tour card.
“In a week like this it’s a long week, its 90 holes and we had only played two days,” Woods said.
“There were three whole days left so I didn’t want to get ahead of myself and get down because I know that I can play well out here and I was able to bounce back today so I think that helped me out a lot, on the leaderboard and for myself.”
Woods will return to the site of her day two 79 tomorrow with a determined attitude.
“I’m excited to get back out there,” Woods said with a smile. “That course beat me up yesterday, but I’m excited to get out there and bring the same game that I brought today.”
NO. 82 IN WORLD MINJEE LEE FIRES 4-UNDER: Minjee Lee (Perth, Australia), 18, fired a 4-under 68 on the Hills Course to move from T32 to T11 after three rounds.
“Today was pretty good, I started off well with a birdie so I was thinking I was going to put it all together today,” said Lee, who carded a 72 and 71 over the first two days. “I finished at 4-under today so I am happy with my result.”
Lee capped her day with a long birdie putt on the ninth hole.
“I think that putt gives me good momentum going into the next day,” said Lee. “It was really nice, it was a long putt too.”
Lee, who ranks No. 82 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings, is going through the LPGA Qualifying Tournament for the first time after turning professional at The Evian Championship this year.
“It (the process) is a little bit crazy, I think you put a little bit of extra pressure on yourself,” said Lee. “Obviously this week is important, but in the end you just want to take it one step at a time and hit one shot at a time.”
Lee, who played in four LPGA Tour majors in 2014, is eager to get her career started.
“I think the LPGA means the start of your career and it would be the start of my career if I am able to get on it.”
GIULIA MOLINARO LEARNED A LOT AS AN LPGA ROOKIE IN 2014: Giulia Molinaro (Treviso, Italy) is not feeling the same intense pressure that most in the field are talking about.
She finished second on the Symetra Tour’s Volvik Race for the Card money list and played fulltime on the LPGA Tour in 2014. Although she didn’t have the year she would have liked, she made $48,225 and finished 114 on the money list guaranteeing her LPGA Tour status for 2015.
“I finished well enough this year to have pretty good status for 2015 even if I don’t do well the next two days so I am very much looking forward to 2015,” said Molinaro, who has friend and Symetra Tour player Carolin Pinegger as her caddie this week. “It’s a very stressful five days, but the girls like myself that have some status for next year are able to play with a lot more ease.”
It showed on Friday as Molinaro fired a 5-under 67 to move inside the top 20 to a tie for 19th.
“The front nine was a bit shaky, but I managed to finish 1-under,” explained Molinaro. “On the back nine I did not miss one iron shot that I hit so it made my day a lot easier.”
Molinaro is excited about her second year on the LPGA Tour and feels that she learned a lot year one that will help her in 2015.
“On the LPGA your head really plays a lot of tricks with your game,” admitted Molinaro. “I don’t think I played to the potential that I could but it’s a new place and you’re playing against the best in the world and you have crowds and media and expectations so I am really looking forward to next year with more experience.”
Molinaro played college golf at Arizona State with Carlota Ciganda, who was a big asset to Molinaro on the LPGA Tour.
“My good friend Carlota from Spain, we were in college together for three years,” said Molinaro. “She really helped out and showed me the way.”
Molinaro is playing well this week with a nearly brand new swing.
“My swing is completely different and I’m trying to work on my back swing and staying in my spine angle on my down swing,” explained Molinaro. “I was pretty nervous on the first day to tee it up with a new swing and a new putting stroke.”
Molinaro started working with a new coach a month and a half before the LPGA Tour season ended. It seems to be working well.
OF NOTE: Here are some additional short notes about Friday’s third round.
- Su Oh, who turned professional on Monday, shot a 2-over 74 and moved from T34. The sixth youngest player in the field figured now was the time to turn professional. After her round today she said “I wanted to play as a professional next year and it didn’t really matter how I did this week, I still wanted to be a professional so why not play this tournament as a professional.”
- There are seven players that have been under-par all three days: Alison Lee (71-70-67 208, -8) Sei Young Kim (69-71-70 210, -6), Sophie Giquel (71-70-70 211, -5), Karlin Beck (69-71-71 211, -5), Emily Talley (71-71-70 212, -4), Perrine Delacour (70-71-71 212, -4) and Jacqui Concolino (71-71-71, 213, -3)
- Laetitia Beck (Caesarea, Israel) shot a 4-under 68 to move into a tie for 11th. She is trying to become the first LPGA Tour player from Israel.
- WAGR No. 1 Brooke Henderson is on the bag this week for her older sister Brittany Henderson. Brooke finished 10th at the U.S. Women’s Open this year and was the runner-up at the U.S. Women’s Amateur. According to Golfweek, Brooke will decide her golf future on December 19.
HOW THE ROLEX WOMEN’S WORLD GOLF RANKINGS TOP 100 FARED
|Player||Rolex WWGR||1st Rd.||2nd Rd.||3rd Rd.||Position|
|Ha Na Jang (Seoul, South Korea)||No. 25||+2 (74)||-7 (65)||-6 (66)||1|
|Charley Hull (Kettering, England)||No. 37||+3 (75)||-3 (69)||E (72)||T40|
|Sei Young Kim (Seoul, South Korea)||No. 40||-3 (69)||-1 (71)||-2 (70)||T7|
|Sakura Yokomine (Kanoya, Japan)||No. 44||+1 (73)||-1 (71)||-6 (66)||T7|
|Minjee Lee (Perth, Australia)||No. 82||E (72)||-1 (71)||-4 (68)||T11|
|Ariya Jutanugarn (Thailand)||No. 91||+1 (73)||-3 (69)||-1 (71)||T24|
|Valentine Derrey (Ciboure, France)||No. 100||E (72)||+1 (73)||-1 (71)||T4|