Dec. 1, 2009
By Zach Stipe, Media Relations Graduate Assistant
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Four former Lady Vols will look to earn their LPGA Tour membership or improve their status for the 2010 Tour when the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament begins Tuesday at the LPGA International.
Angela Oh, Jessica Shepley, Nicole Smith and Young-A Yang will participate in the five-day final qualifier that features a 106-player field and will be played on both the Legends and Champions courses at the LPGA International. There will be 72-hole cut to the low 70 players and ties before Sunday's final 18-holes.
The top 40 finishers in the tournament will earn membership on the 2010 LPGA Tour.
The top 20 players will earn Priority in Category 11 membership, while players finishing 21st through 30th will receive Priority in Category 16 and places 31st through 40th will receive Priority in Category 20.
Oh, who earned All-SEC honors while competing for UT from 2006-08, tied for 40th at the Final Qualifying Tournament in 2008 to earn her LPGA Card.
The Maple Shade, N.J., native has competed in six events on the Duramed FUTURES Tour in 2009 with a best finish of tied for eighth at the Turkey Hill Classic in Harrisburg, Pa., this past August.
Shepley and Yang also competed at the Final Qualifying Tournament a year ago.
Shepley, of Oakville, Ontario, earned LPGA membership last season by way of finishing seventh on the FUTURES Tour money list. She has made three starts on the top-level women's professional tour this season and played in 15 FUTURES events with a best finish of tied for ninth at the USI Championship in Concord, N.H. in July. She earned All-SEC and honorable mention All-America accolades during her career at Rocky Top from 2001-05.
Yang has been a member of the LPGA Tour since 2003 after rewriting the Lady Vol record books as a four-time All-American (1999-2002) and all-conference honoree. The Tae-Gu City, South Korea, native has made 72 cuts in LPGA tournaments and earned nearly $700,000 on the LPGA Tour in her career.
Smith will be taking her first shot at obtaining LPGA membership. She wrapped up her four-year Lady Vol career in 2009 as a three-time All-SEC Second Team award winner. Smith, of Riverside, Calif., ended her career with a 74.96 stroke average, fourth-best in Orange and White history.
Yang and Oh will tee off from the same group at 8:48 a.m. on Tuesday, while Shepley will start at 9:21 a.m. and Smith at 9:43 a.m.
Results and other information on the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament can be found at LPGA.com.