105 advance to second stage of LPGA Q-School
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif., August 28, 2013 – One hundred and five LPGA Tour hopefuls are one step closer to earning their card following the conclusion of this week’s LPGA Sectional Qualifying Tournament at Mission Hills Country Club. Laura Gonzalez-Escallon of Belgium finished her week of solid play at 12-under 276 to earn medalist honors and headline a talented group headed to the second stage of the LPGA Qualifying Tournament.
Gonzalez-Escallon fired an even-par 72 during the final round to edge Wake Forest graduate Cheyenne Woods by three shots. Although Gonzalez-Escallon didn’t expect to come out with a win this week, she says it only validates her hard work after graduating from Purdue in May.
“I’m still and amateur but I’m practicing like a pro,” said Gonzalez-Escallon. “It’s a lot of hard work but it’s good that it’s been paying off. I wasn’t sure if the way I was practicing was what I needed but I played really well so this win just confirms what I was doing. I just have to keep at it.”
The 22-year-old entered Friday’s final round with a two-stroke lead over University of Florida graduate Mia Piccio, who finished tied for fourth. Gonzalez-Escallon started out with two birdies and one bogey to make the turn at 11-under on the Dinah Shore Course. Two more birdies on the back-nine gave her an ease that even a triple bogey on the par-4 16th hole couldn’t crush. She sealed her three-stroke victory with a par on 18.
“It gives me confidence heading into the second stage but there is definitely still a lot of work to do,” said Gonzalez-Escallon. “I’ve worked all summer for this so I’ll just have to see if I can take it to the final stage and ultimately get that card.”
Woods, who began the day in a four-way tie for fifth at 6-under, birdied Nos. 2, 8 and 9 to make the turn at 9-under. Despite two bogeys on 14 and 15, Woods managed to respond with two birdies on 16 and 17 to take the runner-up spot with an overall score of 9-under 279.
Woods, who didn’t make it through the first stage in 2012, is more than ready to tackle the second stage in Venice, Fla. next month.
“I feel like my game has progressed really well this past year and it feels really good to see my hard work pay off,” said Woods. “To play how I know I am able to and to make it all the way through and head on to the second stage is really exciting. I’m just going to work even harder and get ready for that next tournament.”
The Rancho Mirage Qualifier is the first of the LPGA Tour’s three sectional qualifying events in 2013. The top-100 players from this week will advance to the second stage of the LPGA Qualifying Tournament at Plantation Golf and Country Club in Venice, Fla., October 8-11. The top 80 and ties from Stage II will advance into the Final Qualifying Tournament.
Stage III of LPGA Q-School will be contested over 90 holes Dec. 4-8, at the LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla. Top finishers in the final stage will earn 2014 LPGA membership (total number of cards TBD) and all others who make the cut will receive Symetra Tour status.