Song Still Frontrunner After Round Four Of LPGA Qualifying
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Dec. 3, 2011 – Christine Song has maintained her lead after four rounds of the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament. She holds a four-stroke lead at 10-under 278.
Song carded an even-par 72 today on the Legends Course at LPGA International, making the most of a round in which she recorded three birdies and three bogeys.
Hitting only 11 greens in regulation, Song said she relied heavily on her short game. She saved par five times in today’s round, including a chip-in par on No. 12 after she flew the green.
“I wasn’t hitting it very well, but fortunately, my chipping and putting were good,” said Song, 20, of Fullerton, Calif. “We will play the Champions Course tomorrow and I like that course better because it’s more wide open. I need to go low.”
Rookie professional Junthima (“Numa”) Gulyanamitta of Rayong, Thailand posted a score of 4-under 68 to move within four shots of the lead at 6-under 282. The former member of Purdue University’s 2010 NCAA Championship team recorded five birdies on the back nine to charge into second place.
“I just play and I have no idea what’s going on,” said Gulyanamitta, 23, younger sister of former LPGA Tour member Russy Gulyanamitta, who is caddying for her sibling this week. “I’m not trying to beat everybody. I’m just doing what I need to do to get my LPGA card.”
The Thai player carded six birdies and two bogeys today as she climbed from fifth place. While she hit only 11 greens, Gulyanamitta scrambled around the greens and used only 24 putts.
Third-year pro Jennie Lee of Henderson, Nev., posted a one-over 73 to move into third place at 4-under 284, three shots ahead of Jodi Ewart (70) of North Yorkshire, England, at one-under 287.
“I had too many bogeys today (4) and I putted poorly,” said Lee, 25, a 2011 LPGA rookie. “If you are on the green, you shouldn’t be three-putting, and I had three of them today.”
Ewart, on the other hand, capitalized on her ball striking. She hit 16 greens in regulation and managed her game well in the wind, striping her final approach shot to five feet on the 18th green of the Legends course, and then converting for birdie.
Tied for fifth at even-par 288 is the trio of Karlin Beck (71) of Pike Road, Ala., Stephanie Kono (75) of Honolulu, Hawaii, and Maude-Aimee Leblanc (71) of Sherbrooke, Canada.
Rounding out the top 10 are Dori Carter (73) of Valdosta, Ga., and Jacqui Concolino (76) of Orlando, Fla., tied for eighth at one-over 289, and Sandra Changkija (73) of Orlando, Fla., alone in 10th place at 2-over 290.
Seventy-six players made the 72-hole cut at 12-over 300 and will advance into Sunday’s final round.
The final round will begin Sunday at 7:30 a.m., off the first and 10th tees on the Champions course only. The leaders will go off the first tee at 9:42 a.m.
A field of 139 players started this week’s event, hoping to either earn membership or improve their current member status for the 2012 LPGA Tour. Sectional qualifiers, along with current LPGA Tour members attempting to improve their status for 2012, are in the field. In addition, players finishing Nos. 6-10, and the next top 10 players on the 2011 LPGA Futures Tour money list (who do not already have LPGA status), are also in the field.
Players finishing 1st through 40th, including ties, will receive 2012 LPGA membership, with the top 20 finishers earning full status for 2012.
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