A melting pot of pros from tours around the world moved in early position Wednesday to win one of 20 LPGA cards up for grabs this week at the final stage of Q-School in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Thailand’s Sherman Santiwiwatthanaphong, Japan’s Nasa Hataoka, South Korea’s Hyemin Kim, the Netherlands’ Anne Van Dam and American Gabriella Then opened with 4-under-par 68s to share the first-round lead in the 90-hole event.
Hataoka, who finished 140th on the LPGA money list as a rookie this year, and Van Dam, a Ladies European Tour winner, played LPGA International’s Jones Course. The other leaders played the Hills Course.
Australia’s Rebecca Artis, South Africa’s Paula Reto and American Lauren Kim opened with 69s. They all played the Jones course.
England’s Georgia Hall, who leads the LET Tour Order of Merit and played for Europe in the Solheim Cup, struggled to a 77.
The top 20 at week’s end will earn the equivalent of full LPGA membership next year. Players finishing 21st through 45th and ties will earn conditional status. The field will be cut to the low 70 and ties after four rounds.