Thai teen shares LPGA Q-school top spot
Thai teenager Moriya Jutanugarn tied for first place with Canadian Rebecca Lee-Bentham in the LPGA qualifying tournament on Sunday, and said she can't wait to use her brand new tour card.
The 18-year-old Moriya took a six-shot lead into Sunday's final round.
Her 74 was her worst round of the week, but it was good enough for a share of first place alongside Lee-Bentham, who holed a 60-foot putt at the final hole to cap her closing 67.
"I'm so happy to get my card," Moriya said. "I got it and that was my goal."
Lee-Bentham and Moriya finished the five-round event at LPGA International on 13-under 347.
"I wasn't really thinking about coming in first or anything," Lee-Bentham said. "I just wanted to play well and focus on striking it well and making putts. I've been waiting for this for a while. It's been a long grind for everybody out here."
Japan's Ayako Uehara was third, carding a 69 for a 12-under total.
Kathleen Ekey, a rookie this season, saved her best round for last and shot the low round of the week on Sunday with a seven-under 65. She jumped from a tie for 14th to sole possession of fourth place.
Japan's Chie Arimura (70) and former University of Southern California standout Lisa McClosky (71) tied for fifth. Arimura said she wasn’t only playing for herself to get her card this week but for all of her fellow JLPGA players back in Japan.
"I wanted to do well for them," said Arimura. "I didn’t want to come up short and have them think that this will be a tough road for all of us. So that was where the pressure was this week."
The top 20 players earned full status for 2013, while 28 more players also earned limited playing privileges.