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Thai golfer finishes atop LPGA Q-School

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Thailand's Junthima Gulyanamitta won the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament on Sunday, closing with 4-under 68 in windy and rainy conditions on LPGA International's Champions Course for a two-stroke victory over Christine Song.

The 23-year-old Gulyanamitta, a member of Purdue's 2010 NCAA championship team, had a 10-under 350 total in the five-round event.

'It's a good feeling to accomplish my goal,' Gulyanamitta said. 'Now I have my card to play on the LPGA.'

The 20-year-old Song finished with a 74 after leading the tournament for four rounds.

'It's bittersweet, but it's OK,' said Song, from Fullerton, Calif. 'I wanted to win and I put a lot of pressure on myself, but the goal was to get my card, and I did that.'

Jennie Lee of Henderson, Nev., had a 72 to finish third at 4 under.

Dori Carter (68) of Valdosta, Ga.; Karlin Beck (69) of Pike Road, Ala.; and Jodi Ewart (70) of England tied for fourth at 3 under, and Sandra Changkija (70) of Orlando, Fla., and Maude-Aimee Leblanc (72) of Canada followed at even par. Leblanc and Gulyanamitta were teammates at Purdue.

The top 20 players earned full 2012 LPGA membership, with Lizette Salas of Azusa, Calif., birdieing all three holes in a nine-player playoff for the last spot.

'This means the world to me,' said the 22-year-old Salas, a four-time All-American at Southern California. 'I'm just relieved and so excited.'

Twenty-one other players also earned 2012 LPGA membership, with 10 gaining Category 16 status by finishing 21st through 30th, and 11 more earning Category 20 membership by finishing 31st through 40th.

Spain's Elisa Serramia (73) birdied the 18th hole from 8 feet to jump into the 19th spot at 4 over, avoiding the playoff.

Fighting to keep her card, Meredith Duncan (70) of Shreveport, La., leaped into the top 20 when she saved bogey from 9 feet on the 16th hole, made a 60-foot birdie putt on No. 17 and holed out for eagle from 75 yards on the final hole to climb into a tie for ninth at 3 over.

Rebecca Lee-Bentham (67) of Canada also was 3 over along with Minea Blomqvist (70) of Finland; Cydney Clanton (71) of Concord, N.C.; Angela Oh (72) of Baltimore; and Stephanie Kono (75) of Honolulu.

Kono and Argentina's Victoria Tanco gave up their amateur status after earning top-20 LPGA membership. Kono is a senior All-American at UCLA and a 2010 member of the U.S. Curtis Cup team.

The 17-year-old Tanco shot a 69 to tie for 15th at 4 over with Ayaka Kaneko (71) of Honolulu; Tanya Dergal (71) of Mexico; Hannah Yun (71) of Bradenton, Fla.; and Elisa Serramia (73) of Spain.