ORLANDO, Fla. - While the top 125 is the magic number for fully-exempt status on the PGA Tour, only the top 80 money earners on the LPGA earn the same privilege for the following year.
Of those women on the outside looking in at this week's LPGA Tour Championship, Laura Diaz, No. 93 on the money list, helped her cause immensely Saturday by shooting a third-round 69 at Grand Cypress GC. It was the day's only sub-70 score and vaulted her into fifth place at two-under 214, four strokes behind leader Amy Yang.
Diaz, 35, whose two LPGA victories came in 2002, had her second child, Lily, earlier this year and has not had a top-10 finish in 13 tournaments in 2010. "Coming back from having my second kid was harder than I thought it would be," Diaz said. "It took me a while to get comfortable on the golf course again."
With $77,090 in earnings, Diaz is $28,529 behind the No. 80 player on the 2010 money list, Moira Dunn, who missed the 54-hole cut this week. If Diaz were to finish solo 10th Sunday, she would make $30,569.
-- Bill Fields