I have to admit that I'm shocked that Kristie Smith missed the cut at LPGA Q-School's Final Qualifying Tournament. The only other player in the field I was more confident would make the top 20 this week than Smith was long-time LPGAer Minea Blomqvist, on whom more in another post. But at #17 on the LET money list and a long-time stand-out on the ALPG, Smith, I figured, was due to break through onto the LPGA. Instead, she opened with an 80 on the challenging Legends course at LPGA International and failed to break 73 over each of her next 3 rounds. Just like that, she missed the cut by 2 shots.
But Smith was by no means alone. Jennifer Gleason, Hanna Kang, and Tzu-Chi Lin, who were looking to improve their 2012 LPGA status from finishing in the top 10 on the 2011 Futures Tour money list, all missed the cut; Gleason missed it by 4 shots and couldn't break 74, Kang missed it by 5 shots and never broke 74, and Lin missed it by 12 shots, failing to break 75. LPGAers Sara Brown (+20), Sarah Brown (+21), Nicole Hage (+20), Allison Hanna (+17), Jimin Jeong (+13), Kimberly Kim (+37), Stephanie Kim (WD), Junko Nakada (+23), Libby Smith (+46), Alison Whitaker (+17), and Adrienne White (+24) played their way off the tour for 2012, except for Hage, who finished 121st on the 2011 LPGA money list and will have some kind of nominal status for 2012. No such luck for developmental tour winners this season (like Smith, Lin, Hage, and Stephanie Kim) Jasi Acharya (+14), Alejandra Llaneza (+15), and Benedikte Grotvedt (+16). Or former can't-miss prospects like Esther Choe (+13), Mallory Blackwelder (+13), and Natalie Sheary (+15). At least Brianna Do (+18) has her senior year at UCLA to look forward to.
So Gleason, Kang, Lin and Hage have very limited status on the LPGA in 2012. Odds are they'll be spending most of their time with everyone else who missed the cut on the Futures Tour--sorry, Symetra Tour--in 2012.
What a week to not even have your B-game. Yup, Q-School is cruel!