The fourth and final round of the Duramed Futures Tour's Qualifying School ended yesterday with nine current college players, all playing as amateurs, finishing in the top 25 (see below). Unlike the LPGA Tour and its rules regarding qualifying school, these players can accept tour cards on the Duramed Futures Tour but not have to turn professional immediately when they do. They can even play the tour as amateurs next summer if they wish.
This is something the LPGA Tour (which interestingly owns the Futures Tour) really should consider down the road -- at least explore the possibility of allowing players who earn tour cards to wait until they compete in their first LPGA event using the card before requiring them to turn pro. If (or as some confident folks might say, when) Arizona State's Anna Nordqvist and Oklahoma State's Jaclyn Sweeney get through the final stage of LPGA Tour Q school next month, they'll be forced to turn pro immediately, and thus have to skip out on their respective schools. If they could remain amateurs, play for their schools through nationals in May, then turn pro and have their card, it would be much better for the collective women's game. Some players might not want to sacrifice playing on tour in the months of March, April and May, but those who would be willing at least would have the option.
Final round scores and positions at Duramed Futures Tour 2009 Qualifying Tournament
Cleveland Heights GC, Lakeland, Fla.
1 Hannah Jun 69-67-68-72 - 276
2 Pernilla Lindberg (a) (Oklahoma State) 69-66-69-73 - 277
3 Victoria Kiser (a) 70-69-70-69 - 278
4 Maria Hernandez (a) (Purdue) 65-76-70-71 - 282
5 Kira Meixner (a) 72-69-72-70 - 283
Molly Birmingham 70-71-70-72 - 283
7 Alison Walshe 72-75-69-68 - 284
Lauren Doughtie (a) (N.C. State) 75-69-71-69 - 284
9 Kristie Smith 74-73-68-70 - 285
Marci Turner 69-75-71-70 - 285
Natalie Sheary (a) (Wake Forest) 72-74-67-72 - 285
12 Jessica Yadloczky (a) (Florida) 72-71-73-70 - 286
Elisa Serramia 73-69-73-71 - 286
Anna Grzebien 72-70-72-72 - 286
15 __Cindy LaCrosse (a) (Louisville) 73-75-69-70 - 287
__ Christine Song (a) 71-73-73-70 - 287
Courtney Mahon 70-75-71-71 - 287
Virada Nirapathpongporn 71-70-75-71 - 287
19 Laura Crawford 76-71-70-71 - 288
Taylor Leon 75-73-68-72 - 288
21 Liz Janangelo 71-73-75-70 - 289
Sarah Jacobs 71-73-72-73 - 289
Kylene Pulley 69-71-72-77 - 289
Jieun Oh 70-68-73-78 - 289
25 __Jennie Lee (a) (Duke) 72-75-71-72 - 290
Mallory Hetzel (a) (Georgia) 73-70-75-72 - 290__
Amie Hartje 72-74-70-74 - 290
__ Jane Chin (a) (UC Irvine) 73-66-76-75 - 290__
All these players are likely to get full exemptions on the Futures Tour in 2009, although the exact number of exempt and non-exempt cards the Futures Tour will give out won't be determined until the LPGA Tour's Q-school finishes next month.