Chella Choi shot a 3-under-par 69 in Friday's final round to earn medalist honors at the Venice sectional at Plantation Golf and Country Club. She finished at 9-under-par (71-67-72-69=279), one-shot ahead of Beatriz Recari of Spain and Thailand's Nontaya Srisawang. The final cut came at 6-over-par 294.
Along with taking first-place in the second and final qualifier, Choi also carded her first-career ace on the sixth hole of the Bobcat Course. The South Korean used a 7-iron on the 146-yard, par-3. The ace motivated Choi the rest of the way. There are, however, things that can be worked on between now and Daytona Beach.
'I got lucky. My game wasn't there on the start, but the hole-in-one got me excited. I played better because of the ace, and it made me very happy,' Choi said. 'After I made the hole-in-one, I just wanted to win, which I did, so I am very happy. There will be a lot of great players in Daytona, so I definitely have some stuff to work on before I get there.'
Choi finished the day with an ace, three birdies and two bogeys, and is excited about her upcoming trip to Daytona Beach, Fla., and the opportunity to earn membership on the LPGA.
Recari and Srisawang, the pair who finished tied for runner-up honors, turned in 8-under-par 280 scorecards. Recari carded a 1-under-par 71 on the final day, bringing her four-day score to 8-under-par (69-69-71-71=280). This is the first attempt for LPGA membership by the 21-year-old.
'I did really well today. Overall, I thought I played pretty well,' Recari said. 'I am happy; it has been a long week. There was just so much competition that I had to be pretty confident. My driver has been consistent, and my putting has been consistent too.'
Srisawang (72-67-72-69=280), a third-year professional, finished the final round with five birdies and a pair of bogeys, in route to taking half of the runner-up spot.
Finishing in solo fourth place, but topping all other amateurs, Jaclyn Sweeney (71-68-70-72=281) was happy with how this week turned out. The Bradenton, Fla. native plans on working out any kinks before the final qualifier in Daytona Beach rolls around.
'I have some things to work on with my coach. I had good opportunities this week, but my distances were off just a bit,' Sweeney said. 'Overall, I am happy with my performance this week though.'
The top-30 players and ties advanced to the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla., Dec. 3-7.