Sep 4, 2013
Over the weekend, four Lady Volunteer golfers began their quest for an LPGA tour card at the 2013 Ladies Professional Golf Association Qualifying Tournament.
The LPGA Qualifying Tournament, also known as "Q-School", kicked off on August 27. The first stage featured nearly 250 hopeful women's golfers. The ladies traveled to Rancho Mirage, Calif., to compete at the Mission Hills Country Club.
Q-School is composed of three stages. Each stage has a cut, reducing the number of ladies advancing until only the top remaining. Those left standing after Stage III will receiving their LPGA tour card for the following year.
Read how the LPGA Tour Qualifying School works: CLICK HERE
"We are extremely proud of our girls," Tennessee head coach Judi Pavon said. "It is obviously a big achievement to play and advance."
Three of the four Big Orange participants advanced with Popson finishing tied for fourth (Brown missed the cut by one stroke).
"It felt good to play well at first stage," Popson said. "My swing coach Ronnie McCann traveled out to California to caddy for me so it was very nice to have someone who knew me and my game so well.
He also has a ton of experience so it was great to be able to learn from him throughout the week. It was a good week on the course with great company in Ronnie and I am looking forward to the next stage.
I feel like I played solid on the first stage but will keep working hard on my physical and mental game for the next stage."
Popson was the model of consistency throughout her four days in California. The former All-SEC women's golfer carded rounds of 69-71-70-71--281 (-7).
Thomas ensured her spot in Stage II with a clutch final round of 72 (E). It was a welcomed ending of Stage I for the rising Tennessee senior. Thomas battled with inconsistent rounds during her four days in California with rounds of 75-72-76-72--295 (+7).
"Well I finished in the top-100 so that means I get to go on to Stage II down in Florida in mid-October," Thomas said. "I don't usually get on too big of an emotional high with golf stuff, but I do have to admit I was pretty excited when I found out that I had made it."
Here is a tweet from Thomas during Stage I:
Chessey Thomas (@ChesseyThomas) August 28, 2013
Mansson, a 2012 Lady Vol graduate, performed well enough to make the weekend cut as she tied for 79th. The former All-SEC first-teamer wrapped up Stage I by carding 74-75-72-76--297 (+9).
Brown was the lone former Lady Vol to miss the Stage I cut. Brown excelled in rounds one and three, shooting a 72 (E) and 70 (-2) respectively. However, she could not overcome a final round 80 (+8) to advance to Stage II.
Here is a tweet from Brown prior to Stage I:
Ginny Brown (@ginnybrown11) August 27, 2013
The three Lady Vols will now travel to Venice, Fla., in October to compete in the LPGA's Stage II of Q-School.
2013 Q-School Schedule
Stage I: August 27-30, 2013 Mission Hills Country Club - Palmer and Dinah Shore Course Rancho Mirage, Calif. Results: CLICK HERE
Stage II: October 8-11, 2013 Plantation Golf and Country Club - Panther & Bobcat Courses Venice, Fla.
Stage III December 4-8, 2013 LPGA International Golf Course - Champions & Legends Courses Daytona Beach, Fla.