Saturday, October 13, 2012

LPGA Q-School Stage II: The Katie Burnett Show

Georgia native and University of South Carolina standout Katie Burnett tore up the Plantation Golf and Country Club over the past 4 days, breaking par every round and finishing at -15 in Stage II of the LPGA's Q-School, 6 shots ahead of LET superstar Melissa Reid.  Burnett, who garnered 3 top 20s and 6 made cuts in 7 starts on the Symetra Tour after graduation, had broken 70 only twice on the LPGA's developmental tour, but she opened with 3 straight rounds in the 60s this week and held on with a final-round 71.  Given that only 15 golfers in the field of 157 broke par over the 72-hole tournament--and that even from that group, Lee-Anne Pace, Felicity Johnson, and Giulia Molinaro finished 9 shots behind her, Ashleigh Simon and Lisa McCloskey were 12 back, and Austin Ernst and Stephanie Na ended up 14 off the pace--it's pretty clear that Burnett dominated the field.

Other notables who lived to fight another day included Moriya Jutanugarn and Caroline Masson at E, Brooke Pancake, Ginger Howard, and Garrett Phillips at +1, Natalie Sheary, Emily Talley, and Jessica Speechley at +2, Jean Reynolds, Brianna Do, Candace Schepperle, Caroline Westrup, and Selanee Henderson at +3, Chie Arimura, Frances Bondad, Taylore Karle, Marina Alex, Paz Echeverria, Seema Sadekar, and Tracy Stanford at +4, Kayla Mortellaro, Cathryn Bristow, and Kim Welch at +5, Ayako Uehara, Anna-Lise Caudal, Michelle Shin, Shasta Averyhardt, Alejandra Llaneza, and Justina Yu at +6, and Briana Vega, Anya Alvarez, Inhong Lim, Kitty Hwang, Vanessa Brockett, and Victoria Alimonda-Lovelady at +7.

Meanwhile, Jaye Marie Greene, Line Vedel, Marcela Leon, Joanna Coe, Joy Trotter, Benedikte Grotvedt, and Renee Skidmore all missed the cut by a single shot.  Rachel Rohanna, Kendall Dye, Vikki Laing, and Angela Buzminski finished 2 shots away from making it to the final stage.  Others heading to the LET, Symetra Tour, or other tours next year included Hye-Min Kim, Carling Coffing, Lisa Meldrum, Marta Silva, Katie Kempter, Callie Nielson, Stacy Bregman, Pei-Yun Chien, Ashleigh Albrecht, Dawn Shockley, Blair O'Neal, Hwanhee Lee, Ki-Shui Liao, Michele Low, Saehee Son, Lili Alvarez, and Libby Smith.

So a Burnett upstaged the big names in the Stage II field.  Now we'll have to wait until the end of November to see how she and they fare against the likes of Tiffany Joh, Kyeong Bae, Ji-Young Oh, Christina Kim, Stacy Prammanasudh, Sandra Changkija, Seon Hwa Lee, Hannah Yun, Victoria Tanco, Cydney Clanton, Angela Oh, Anna Grzebien, Danah Bordner, Janice Moodie, Christine Song, Maria Hernandez, Rebecca Lee-Bentham, Harukyo Nomura, Na On Min, Ayaka Kaneko, Kathleen Ekey, Song-Hee Kim, Birdie Kim,  Mitsuki Katahira, Jenny Suh, Sara Brown, Leah Wigger, Jaclyn Sweeney, Jean Chua, Olivia Jordan-Higgins, Megan McChrystal, Kristie Smith, Misun Cho, Lauren Doughtie, and Hannah Jun.  Too bad there aren't 80 cards at stake in the Final Qualifying Tournament.  Probably about 3/4 of the folks I've mentioned are going to walk away from LPGA International deeply disappointed in early December.  It's a tough sport to love, eh?


Dave Andrews said...

Saw Katie Burnett play on the Symetra Tour. She has a great game. Won't be surprised if she gets her card in Daytona.
Last year they took several extra players below the official cut line from 2nd stage to fill out the field in the final stage.
I hope they do that again this year. There are a couple players I know at plus 8 and I'd love for them to sneak into Daytona.

Ken Warren said...

Nice post and really impressive play by Miss Burnett. I had to look her up as I just can't fit NCAA in with LPGA, LET, and Symetra players. Quite a feat with how much talent there is globally. Stage III is going to be loaded and I hope to be there for the 3rd consecutive year. It's an amazing rollercoaster of great golf and emotion. The more people you meet on Tour, the greater the ups and downs. Like you mentioned, for every player to be congratulated, there are many to be consoled and given a pat on the back. The parents, families, and friends go through a lot.

Tony Jesselli (Tonyj5) said...

Phase 3 is going to have its strongest field ever. Too bad only 20 of them will get a chance to play on the LPGA tour next year. Yes, they give out 40 cards but only the top 20 will have a priority rating good enough to actually tee it up. I guess you can combine that with the 10 players from the Symetra tour and we will have 30 new faces.
Jaye Marie was probably my biggest disappointment. She is the real thing. This could be the best thing for her as at just 18 a year on the Symetra tour will give her needed experience. She should make the top 10 there, and get her card that way next year.

The Constructivist said...

Well, Danielle Kang certainly made the most of her limited starts this year, and before her Caroline Hedwall did, as well, so it can be done from lower on the priority status list!

Amanda said...

Hi, Tony

What is happening with Stephanie Kono? I heard a lot about her at the beginning of the year because of the whole Q-school issue but haven't heard much since. What's her status?

thejamierbelyea said...

Steph missed every cut this year I believe, and will be at Q-School. When things were going poorly, she must've thought how much she still wished she was in college, and it probably got the better of her.

It's so odd seeing Seon-Hwa Lee and Song-Hee Kim at Q-School. A couple years ago I would've pegged them as potential candidates for #1, it's sad to see really talented players fall so far.