Pressel Ready for LPGA Tour Q-School

By Lpga Tour MediaNovember 28, 2005, 5:00 pm
LPGA logo for LeaderboardsDAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- A field of 142 players will tee it up this week at the Nov. 30-Dec. 4 LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament at both the Legends Course and Champions Course at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla. All will be vying for one of the 24 coveted exempt LPGA Tour cards for the 2006 Tour season, and for 90 grueling holes it will be all or nothing.
 
It's not an overstatement to call the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament the most stressful event of the year. Play well for five days and the 2006 LPGA Tour season is yours for the taking. One wayward drive or a couple of putts left short, and a player can leave sunny Daytona Beach feeling gray.
 
Two LPGA Sectional Qualifying Tournaments'one in Rancho Mirage, Calif., and the other in Venice, Fla.'have been held to help determine the field for the Final LPGA Qualifying Tournament. The top-30 finishers and ties from each LPGA Sectional Qualifying Tournament advanced to the final stage and join 70 current LPGA Tour members'a record number'who are trying to improve or retain their playing status for 2006. The field is completed by the eligible players who finished sixth through 15th on the final 2005 Futures Tour money list. The top-five finishers on the Futures Tour money list automatically received their exempt card for 2006.
 
Of the 142 players competing, none will garner more attention than Morgan Pressel, Brittany Lang and Ai Miyazato. Pressel, a feisty 17-year-old who recently turned professional, has made golfing headlines since she qualified for the U.S. Women's Open conducted by the USGA when she was 12. This year, she won the U.S. Women's Amateur, tied for second at the U.S. Women's Open and never finished worse than a tie for 25th in her other six LPGA appearances.
 
However, there is a caveat to the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament that exists for Pressel. She petitioned the LPGA for early membership at the age of 17, but even if she earns a Tour card, she will not be able to compete as an LPGA member until her 18th birthday, which is in May. Pressel can play in events before May as a sponsor's exemption, and has already accepted an invitation to play in the early-season Safeway International Presented by Coca-Cola, but any money earned will not be official until her membership begins in May. Pressel finished sixth at the California-based LPGA Sectional Qualifying Tournament after shooting final-round 63 to advance to the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament.
 
Lang, who like Pressel tied for second at the U.S. Women's Open, will compete in the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament after taking medalist honors at the California-based LPGA Sectional Qualifying Tournament. Lang was an amateur at the U.S. Women's Open, but has since turned professional and left her two years at Duke University behind her to embark on a journey to the LPGA. Lang played in six LPGA events this year, made the cut four times, and recorded three top-15 finishes.
 
Miyazato, a pint-sized superstar from Japan, finished runner-up to Lang at the LPGA Sectional Qualifying Tournament and is ready to make a splash on the LPGA Tour. She played in the HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship and knocked off Laura Diaz in the first round before bouncing LPGA Tour and World Golf Halls of Fame member Juli Inkster in the second. She finished tied for ninth and also tied for 11th at the Weetabix Women's British Open.
 
Other notables competing this week include 2005 National Golf Coaches Association Eleanor Dudley Division I Player of the Year award winner Louise Stahle; 2005 Women's World Cup of Golf participant and European standout Minea Blomqvist; 2004 U.S. Girls' Junior champion Julieta Granada; and 2002 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year winner Beth Bauer.
 
The LPGA is one of the most diverse sports associations in the world, and that could not be any more evident than by looking at the makeup of the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament. Twenty-two countries will be represented with players competing from Australia, Canada, China, Colombia, Ecuador, England, Finland, France, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Scotland, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, United States and Wales.
 
The field will be cut to the low 70 players and ties after 72 holes, with the remaining players contesting the final round on the Legends Course. After 90 holes, a sudden-death playoff will be held to determine who gets the final exempt card in the event of a tie. The next 35 players and ties will receive conditional status for the 2006 season.
 
Related links:
  • Full Coverage - LPGA Tour Q-School
  • Getty Images

    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

    Getty Images

    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

    Getty Images

    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

    Getty Images

    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.