Trio Share Medalist Honors

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Ladies Professional Golf AssociationVENICE, Fla. -- For 30 LPGA hopefuls, they are one step closer to realizing their dream of playing on the 2004 LPGA Tour. Seventeen-year-old sensation Aree Song, along with Kelly Lagedrost and Koreas Seol-An Jeon, led the way by finishing at 284 (-4) to share the top spot and headline a group headed to the final stage of qualifying.
 
Song, who played in the Venice sectional qualifier at Plantation Golf and Country Club under the special permission of LPGA Commissioner Ty M. Votaw, carded a final-round 74 (+2) to hold on to the top spot she owned after 54 holes. Lagedrost and Jeon, playing in the group ahead of Song, carded a pair of one-under-par 71s to climb into the three-way tie for first.
 
This is the first step, said Song, who turns 18 on May 1, 2004. Im happy with the way I played this week at this tournament. Conditions were a little tougher today, and birdies were hard to come by because the pins were tucked and were on slopes and tiers. I know the second stage will be difficult, but if I play the way I have been, I will be good. Im excited about my future and chasing the dreams Ive had since I started playing golf.
 
Songs 74 included four bogeys ' on holes seven, 11, 12 and 18 ' and birdies on four and 15. Lagedrost carded her 71 thanks to three birdies (holes two, six and eight) and bogeys on five and 12. Jeon had the quietest day of the three, posting birdies on seven and 12 against a lone bogey on five en route to her one-under-par 71.
 
The pressures off for now, said Lagedrost, who was the only left-handed golfer in the field. I wanted to play my own game out there today for myself. If I take this game to Daytona, I should be okay.
 
Kylie Pratt and Vicky Uwland grabbed the final two spots in a two-hole, six-way playoff after finishing tied for 29th at 295 (+7). Kimberly Adams, Celeste Troche and Jan Dowling were eliminated after the first playoff hole, while Erin Kerr was eliminated after the second extra hole. Pratt and Uwland complete the group of 30 players who will move on to the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla., Oct. 21-24.
 
Kristy McPherson, the tournaments second-round co-leader, led the tournament by one after 14 holes, but suffered bogeys on 16 and 17 and a double-bogey on 18 to fall into a tie for fifth at 286 (-2).
 
The Venice qualifier was the first of the LPGA Tours two sectional qualifying events in 2003. The second LPGA Tour Sectional Qualifying Tournament is Sept. 17-20 at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif., the site of the Kraft Nabisco Championship. The top 30 finishers from the California qualifier will join the Venice sectional qualifiers, current LPGA Tour members attempting to improve their status and the five players who finished sixth through 10th on the final 2003 Futures Tour money list at the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament.