Living the Dream
The top money winners: No.1 P.K. Kongkraphan ($47,283), No. 2 Giulia Molinaro ($39,848), No. 3 Marina Alex ($39,804), No. 4 Christine Song ($39,309), No. 5 Cydney Clanton ($38,861), No. 6 Sue Kim ($37,850), No. 7 Hannah Jun ($36,810), No. 8 Perrine Delacour ($34,577), No. 9 Alena Sharp ($34,120) and No. 10 Jacyln Sweeney ($33,609).
A Year-Long Race
The race began at the season-opening VisitMesa.com Gateway Classic and concluded at this week’s Symetra Tour Championship Presented by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. During the 15 events on the 2013 schedule, the Road to the LPGA saw 14 different winners as players jockeyed to earn a position inside the top-10 of the Volvik Race for the Card.
This year marked the second year since the Race for the Card was implemented in 1999 that 10 players received fully exempt LPGA Tour cards for the next year. From 1999 to 2002, three exemptions were awarded and from 2007-2011, 10 LPGA memberships were awarded with only the top 5 earning fully exempt status.
This year’s graduating class join an elite list of fellow Symetra Tour graduates that include 2012 Rolex Player of the Year Inbee Park, 27-time LPGA Tour winner Lorena Ochoa, 2011 U.S. Solheim Cup Team member Vicky Hurst and two-time LPGA Tour winner Christina Kim.
One More Step
In addition to the top 10 players on the money list earning their LPGA Tour earns, the next 10 players on the Tour’s money list who do not already have LPGA Tour status, earned automatic entry into Stage III of the LPGA Qualifying Tournament. The tournament will take place at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla., set for December 4th – 8th. Those players, include; Olivia Jordan-Higgins, Kim Kaufman, Melissa Eaton, Laura Kueny, Wei-Ling Hsu, Marissa Steen, Megan McChrystal, Kendall Dye, Katy Harris and Jackie Stoelting.
The life of a touring pro is exhausting physically and mentally. There’s little time or energy left for anything else. Not all of the 2014 rookies will survive the challenges of the LPGA Tour, but they’ve certainly earned the opportunity to give it a shot.