Tuesday, December 8, 2009

LPGA Q-School Monday: This Is It!

It came down to the wire on the final day of LPGA Q-School, with medalist honors being decided over the last few holes, a playoff for the 20th spot, and 2 strokes separating Category 11 (top 20) from Category 16 (#21-#30) from Category 20 (#31-#40) priority status.

Here's how my predictions panned out:

1. Amanda Blumenherst: 1st (72L-71C-73L-67C-68C)
2. Azahara Munoz: T5 (69C-72L-73L-72C-69C)
3. Pernilla Lindberg: T16 (73C-73L-71L-69C-73C)
4. Yuko Mitsuka: 55th (69C-75L-77L-76C-70C)
5. Tiffany Joh: 70th (78L-75C-71C-73L-74C)
6. Tania Elosegui: T16 (76C-70L-70L-72C-71C)
7. Mariajo Uribe: T12 (75C-71L-74L-68C-69C)
8. Marianne Skarpnord: T2 (76L-66C-70L-70C-71C)
9. Gwladys Nocera: T16 (68C-74L-79L-69C-69C)
10. Paola Moreno: T22 (72L-73C-77L-69C-70C)
11. Beatriz Recari: T9 (79L-71C-68C-68L-70C)
12. Emma Cabrera-Bello: 45th ((71C-72L-78L-74C-71C)
13. Maria Hernandez: T5 (73L-70C-70L-72C-70C)
14. Charlotte Mayorkas: 65th (77L-74C-72C-73L-73C)
15. Julieta Granada: 4th (72C-69L-76L-70C-67C)
16. Alison Walshe: 54th (74L-73C-78L-72C-70C)
17. Dewi Claire Scheefel: 52nd (71C-73L-78L-70C-74C)
18. Mallory Blackwelder: T38 (74L-72C-74L-72C-72C)
19. Ashleigh Simon: 60th (75C-73L-73C-74L-73C)
20. Tamie Durdin: T12 (75L-70C-73L-69C-70C)

Well, 6 of my top 20 having no status, 1 having Category 20 status, and 1 having Category 16 status in 2010 is not so bad. But Mitsuka?? Joh??? That really hurts. At least Mitsuka has the JLPGA to fall back on, while I guess T-Joh will be on Big Break after all....

21. Sung Ah Yim: 57th (71C-71L-78L-71C-76C)
22. Kris Tschetter: 51st (77L-72C-69C-75L-73C)
23. Sarah-Jane Smith: T22 (73C-72L-77L-69C-70C)
24. Cindy LaCrosse: T32 (77L-74C-71C-70L-71C)
25. Iben Tinning: 15th (70C-74L-72L-69C-73C)
26. Reilley Rankin: DNS [my bad: she pulled out before the start of the tournament after finishing #100 on the money list!]
27. Erica Blasberg: WD
28. Jane Chin: T32 (73L-65C-78L-76C-71C)
29. Hannah Jun: MC (82L-73C-76C-73L)
30. Nontaya Srisawang: 62nd (72L-74C-82L-65C-75C)

31. Diana D'Alessio: T22 (73L-72C-76L-69C-71C)
32. Miriam Nagl: 69th (77C-72L-75C-71L-75C)
33. Sophia Sheridan: MC (77C-72L-76C-79L)
34. Kitty Hwang: 41st (73L-74C-75L-74C-69C)
35. Nanette Hill: T22 (73C-78L-70C-69L-71C)
36. Pornanong Phatlum: T32 (75L-71C-73L-73C-71C)
37. Stephanie Connelly: 72nd (73C-75L-78C-69L-77C)
38. Carolina Llano: 61st (72L-70C-82L-70C-74C)
39. Il Hee Lee: T20/won play off for #20 spot (69C-76L-75L-67C-73C)
40. Esther Choe: 43rd (71L-76C-76L-74C-69C)

Hats off to Katie Kempter (68, T2), Nicole Hage (71, T5), Lisa Meldrum (71, T5), Nicole Jeray (72, T5), Leah Wigger (72, T9), Lucy Kim (72, T12), and Liz Janangelo (73, T16), who snagged Category 11 status; to Christi Cano (70, T20, but lost to Lee in the playoff for the #20 spot), Jamie Hullett (71, T22), Cathryn Bristow (72, T22), Tanya Dergal (74, T22), and Adrienne White (75, T22) for getting Category 16 status; and to Libby Smith (72, T30, but knocked to #31 by the playoff), Jessica Shepley (69, T32), Jeehae Lee (70, T32), Meredith Duncan (72, T32), Lisa Ferrero (73, T38), and Kim Welch (75, T38), who ended up in Category 20. They all proved me wrong. Quite a jump by Kempter, who didn't even make the 72-hole cut in Futures Tour Q-School, to almost take medalist honors this week.

At the same time, there are so many sad stories among those who didn't get any status. But at least Emma Cabrera-Bello, Nikki Garrett, and Miriam Nagl have the LET to fall back on (although Nagl also has Futures Tour status after finishing T24 in their Q-School). I assume Dewi Claire Schreefel will be going to LET Q-School, but I could be wrong. We already know Alison Walshe is headed there. How those who earn dual LET-FT membership will arrange their schedules will be interesting to see. As will those with dual LPGA-FT status.

Overall, though, I'd say we're seeing a bit of a Lorena Ochoa effect, as young golfers from the Spanish-speaking world did very well on the whole. More on the Class of 2010 later!

[Update 1 (1:06 am): Here's Hound Dog on Q-School. He notes that Mendoza beat Smith for the last spot in Category 16 by finishing 1 shot better than her yesterday. My dad--a huge Smith fan--will be very disappointed to hear that!]

[Update 2 (1:03 pm): Here's Hound Dog again with his estimation of what the 2010 LPGA priority status list looks like. Big winner: Julieta Granada. Big losers: anyone who didn't finish in the top 20 at Q-School.]

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