December 8, 2008

Top-20 Finishers at 2009 LPGA Q-School

A brief look at the top-20 finishers at LPGA Q school who earned fully exempt status for 2009

1. Stacy Lewis, 23, The Woodlands, Texas. This gritty competitor spent most of her childhood in a plastic cast 18 hours a day trying to straighten her spine because of scoliosis. Eventually, she still needed surgery yet won the 2007 NCAA individual title at Arkansas and went 5-0 in Curtis Cup. Finished third in this year's U.S Women's Open. Played two of the last three rounds at Q school paired with Michelle and beat her both days.

2. Amy Yang, 19, Seoul, South Korea. Won the 2006 ANZ Ladies Masters, a Ladies European Tour event in Australia, at the age of 16 years, nine months and 18 days, the youngest ever LET winner. Gained LET membership because of that in and grabbed another title this year in Germany. Donated the 37,500 euros she won to aid earthquake victims in China. Shot a 67 in the fourth round of LPGA school when she putted for birdie on every hole.

3. Anna Grzebien, 23, Narragansett, R.I. Led Duke to the NCAA championship in 2005, '06 and '07 and was the NCAA individual champion in 2005. Had an LPGA card in 2008 but finished No. 142 on the money list, making only five cuts. Her 65 on Sunday in Q school finals was the lowest round of the day by three strokes as she moved from T-12 to third.

T-4 Beth Bader, 35, Davenport, Iowa. This was her third successful trip to Q school, having turned pro in 1997 after graduating from Iowa State University. Was No. 119 on the LPGA money list this year. Closed 69, 66 and 69 at Q school this year to earn her card.

T-4 Sophie Giquel, 26, France. Played on the Ladies European Tour since 2001, winning the 2007 Portugal Ladies Open. Qualified to play on the LPGA this year but finished No. 112 on the money list and had to return to Q school. Shot her last four rounds in the 60s at LPGA International.

T-4 Shiho Oyama, 31, Miyazaki City, Japan. A consistent winner on the Japan LPGA, Oyama got off to a fast start with a 64 in the first round of Q school and then broke par in each of the four subsequent rounds, shooting 70 and three rounds of 71. Played in Wie's threesome Friday at Q school and beat her 71 to 72.

T-7 Michelle Wie, 19, Honolulu, Hawaii. The 19-year-old Stanford student says she will return to college for the winter quarter then take time off to focus on golf when the term ends in late March. More than three years after turning pro in October, 2005 and after trying to take on the men, she finally decided to pursue an LPGA card, getting it on her first try.

T-7 Lisa Strom, 31, Aberdeen, South Dakota. Graduated from Ohio State in 2000 and made the LPGA for the 2003 season. Lost her card this year after finishing No. 160 on the money list with her best finish T-43 in the State Farm Classic. Closed 68-69 at LPGA International to get her card.

9 Mollie Fankhauser, 27, Columbus, Ohio. A 2003 graduate of Ohio State. Joined the LPGA in 2007 and finished No. 98 on the 2008 money list, requiring a return to Q school. Member of the 2002 U.S. Curtis Cup team. Shot 67 and 66 in the first and third rounds of Q school then hung on with two rounds of 73 on the weekend.

T-10 Charlotte Mayorkas, 24, Chula Vista, Calif. A 2006 grad of UCLA. Won twice on the 2006 Duramed Futures Tour, finishing second on the money list and earning an LPGA card for 2007. Lost that card this year by finishing No. 98 on the money list. Sandwiched rounds of 67, 66 and 69 between an opening 75 and closing 74 at Q school.

T-10 Carolina Llano, 24, Medellin, Colombia. Played college golf at Pepperdine. Turned pro in 2006. Played Duramed Futures Tour in '07 and LPGA in '08 but lost her card by finishing No. 108 on the money list. Broke par in all five rounds at Q school, shout four rounds of 70 and one of 71.

T-12 Mika Miyazato, 19, Okinawa, Japan. The only amateur to earn a card at this year's Q school, opening with a 66 and holding on with a closing 72. Won the 2006 Callaway Junior World Championship at Torrey Pines. No relation to Ai Miyazato, who is also an LPGA player from Okinawa.

T-12 Anna Rawson, 27, Adelaide, South Australia. Began a modeling career at age 16. Won South Australian and Victorian Australian Junior championships in 1999. Won 2003 NCAA championship with the University of Southern California. Played Futures Tour in 2005 and LET in 2006. Played LPGA in 2008 but finished No. 127 on the money list and had to go to Q school where she shot a 68 and four rounds of 71.

T-12 Jeehae Lee, 25, Seoul, South Korea. A 2006 graduate of Yale where she studied economics. Has missed 10 of 25 cuts on the Duramed Futures Tour over the last two seasons. Studies at the David Leadbetter Golf Academy.

T-15 Jeanne Cho-Hunicke, 26, Suresnes, France. Speaks, French, Spanish, English and Korean. A 2003 grad of the University of Florida where she majored in quantitative sciences. Was a contestant on The Big Break on Golf Channel in 2005. Played nine LPGA events this year and missed the cut in eight of them, managing to match par in only one of 19 rounds.

T-15 Anja Monke, 31, Hereford, Germany. Turned pro in 2003. Won the Vediorbis Open de France Dames on the Ladies European Tour this year. Played four LPGA events on 2008 with a best finish of T-27. Closed strong with a 69 in the final round of Q school.

T-17 Louise Stahle, 23, Lund, Sweden. Played college golf at Arizona State University, where she was the top freshman in the country, and turned pro in 2005. Earned her card for the 2006 LPGA season at Q school but failed to retain it. Played the LET the last two seasons. A 65 on Saturday put her in position to earn her card, which she secured with a 73 in the final round.

T-17 Ashleigh Simon, 19, South Africa. Won the Ladies South African Open three times. Turned pro the day after her 18th birthday and almost immediately won the Catalonia Ladies Masters, her third event as a professional. Her 68 in the final round moved her from 35th after four rounds to T-17, the biggest jump by anyone on the last day. Earned at LPGA card at Q school last year but lost it in 2008.

T-19 Marcy Hart, 31, Thomasville, N.C. Graduated from the University of North Carolina in 2000. The 2000 U.S. Women's Amateur champion (as Marcy Newton) joined the LPGA in 2001 and had her card from 2003 through 2008 but lost it this year when she finished No. 144 on the money list.

T-19 Audra Burks, 42, Little Rock, Ark. Graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1989. After eight attempts at Q school she qualified for the LPGA by placing third on the 1999 Future's Tour money list. Anther who needed a return trip to Q school to get her card back.