242 players still in the hunt for LPGA and Symetra Tour status
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif., August 28, 2013 – Laura Gonzalez-Escallon extended her lead in Wednesday’s second round of the LPGA Qualifying Tournament in Rancho Mirage, Calif. The first round co-leader fired a 5-under 67 to take the solo lead and build a 5-shot cushion at 9-under 135.
Gonzalez-Escallon, an amateur from Belgium, sat in a six-way tie after Tuesday’s first round and managed to separate herself from the rest of the field after carding six birdies and one bogey on the Palmer Course. With a chip-in birdie on the par-5 18th hole, the recent Purdue graduate claims she led today’s charge with her short game.
“I feel like the difference is in your irons,” said Gonzalez-Escallon of playing the Palmer Course. “You have to be a bit more precise and you cannot short side yourself. But today I was hitting my irons a little bit better. I got off to a great start on the front-nine and shot 4-under. Then the chip-in on the final hole got me really excited for the rest of the week.”
China native Yueer Cindy Feng continued her steady progression this week posting another 2-under 70 to put herself in a tie for second along with Symetra Tour rookie Erica Popson at 4-under 140. The runner-up at the 2013 U.S. Women’s Amateur says her experience at the event helped make her decision to begin her quest for her LPGA Tour card.
“I think playing at the event kind of gave me all the confidence that I needed to feel like I could play at a high level,” said Feng. “I learned a lot of lessons from the event and I feel like I was able to carry that into this week.
“Like, I was playing really consistent. I hit a lot of fairways and greens, and shot a bogey-free round so it was easy. I feel like I grabbed every opportunity when I had it and I’m happy to be where I’m at heading into the rest of the week.”
First-round co-leader Cheyenne Woods shot 1-over 73 to drop into a tie for fourth along with Phillipines native Mia Piccio.
No cut was made following the conclusion of the second round. All players who completed 72 holes will receive Symetra Tour status for the 2014 season.
This week, the Palmer and Dinah Shore courses will be played twice by each player. Third round pairings will be determined by score with the lowest scores teeing off on Palmer while the higher scores will play Dinah Shore. Groups will switch courses and be re-paired based on score for Friday’s final round.The top-100 players at the end of the week will advance to the second stage of the LPGA Qualifying Tournament at Plantation Golf and Country Club in Venice, Fla., and will unfold October 8-11, 2013. 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.