Dec. 4, 2013
On Wednesday, the final stage of the LPGA Qualifying School began at the LPGA International Golf Course in Daytona Beach, Fla. The five day tournament (Dec. 4-8) will host three former Tennessee women's golfers and one current seeking to make the cut and receive their LPGA tour card.
First Round Scores:
- Erica Popson 71 (-1) - T-33rd
- Chessey Thomas 72 (E) - T-48th
- Jessica Shepley 73 (+1) - T-67th
- Nicole Smith 73 (+1) - T-67th
The Tennessee women's golf Twitter account @LadyVol_Golf will have updates throughout the Stage III of Q-School.
Hard to believe that it is already December! It's even harder to believe that I am still wearing shorts and playing golf. Golf in December is a rarity for us Washingtonians!
I went to Tampa the day before Thanksgiving to spend a few days with my roommate/teammate AJ Newell and her family.
After being sufficiently fed for three days, I got in my rental car (which is more of a tank than anything) and headed up to Daytona Beach to LPGA National.
I played two "practice" rounds on Saturday and Sunday. I played one day on each course. The two courses were recently re-named to the Jones and Hills.
Monday I started my official practice rounds with my caddie. This week AJ's sister Anna Newell is going to be on the bag. She is a really great player and she will be a freshman at Tennessee next year. This will be the first stage where we have to walk the courses so I'll be putting her to work.
We got to the course really early on Monday so I was able to play my first practice round by myself, which is always nice especially if you know how long these usually take. Tuesday I played the first nine holes by myself before two other players wanted to join at the turn. Both were really nice and answered my questions about professional golf and how it all works.
The difference in the two courses is really noticeable this week. The Jones course is a very open links style course (I use the term links style loosely in this case). The Hills Course has more trouble and lots of dog legs, which forces you to think a little bit more off the tee.
The courses are relatively close to the beach so both courses can be extremely windy. Not something that really plays to my strength but at least now I know what it feels like to hit a hybrid into a par 3.
Today I had my first round of play and I started off on hole No. 10 on the Jones course.
I was paired with two international players. One from South Korea and one from Venezuela. In fact, I played with the 2005 US Women's Open Champion. If you follow women's professional golf than you have probably heard of her. Her name is Birdie Kim. It's a name that'll stick with ya.
I got off to a little bit of a shaky start by bogeying my first two holes. However, was able to settle in a bit and had found my groove by the turn.
Our group was out of position with the group in front of us all day. We had a rules official warn us by the fourth hole and one was timing by our twelfth hole. I tend to play fairly quick so I was a little flustered to have a LPGA rules official with our group and timing us.
I finished my day with 3 bogeys, one birdie and an eagle. As with every round of golf, I felt like I left a few shots out there but by no means did I dig myself a hole. I'm looking forward to getting back out there tomorrow!
A fun little side note: Today former Lady Vol Young-A Yang's sister followed along with our group. She introduced herself to me and said it was the Smokey club head cover that tipped her off! (I wasn't wearing any orange today) For those of you who don't know Young-A is the only four-time All-American in our programs history. I was happy to see the former Lady Vols here this week all had solid starts to their week. Wish us luck the rest of the way out!
Can't wait to check back in soon.
God Bless and Go Vols! Chessey