Well, well, well. Hannah Yun isn't the only talented young thing who's decided to strike while the iron is hot and leave a promising college golf career behind. Ryan Herrington reports that '08 Curtis Cupper and 2007 Women's Amateur Public Links champion Mina Harigae intends to turn pro in 2009. (See the Duke press release for more details.) While ranked only 49th among women amateurs, she was ranked 6th in the NCAA last November.
Harigae should fit right in among her peers who qualified for the Futures Tour in 2009. With each tournament reserving 3 spots for top 20 players in Golfweek's 2 rankings, she should be drafting her letters of request ASAP. Others looking to get into multiple FT events like Amanda Blumenherst and Tiffany Joh will likely be following in Stacy Lewis's footsteps and securing '10 status there as a fallback, in case they can't win enough through sponsor exemptions on the LPGA to get membership via an '09-money-list-top-80 equivalence--or disappoint at the LPGA Q-School like Alison Walshe. Walshe did earn exempt status on the Futures Tour for '09 with her T7 finish in their Q-School last November, so she'll be yet another player in the pipeline to watch this coming season.
Looks like I'll be doing some FT previews as well as LPGA ones later this month!
[Update 1 (1/16/09, 2:40 pm): Kevin Merfeld has more.]
[Update 2 (3/8/09, 12:09 am): Beth Ann Baldry has a Harigae update, after focusing on Ochoa and Hurst for most of her column. Not bad company!]