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?