Dec. 8, 2013
Former Tennessee women's golfer Erica Popson earned LPGA membership on Sunday after finishing tied for 9th at Stage III of the LPGA Qualifying Tournament.
Popson has had her sights set on LPGA membership since graduating from the University of Tennessee in the spring of 2013. Watch Popson's Video Feature
The native of Davenport, Fla., shot a five day total of 71-70-71-67-73--352 (-8). Her fourth round 67 included six birdies and catapulted her up the Q-School leaderboard.
Former Lady Vol golfer Jessica Shepley also competed in the final round at the LPGA International Golf Course in Daytona Beach, Fla. Shepley's final round 77 dropped her into 70th place to finish Q-School.
Lady Volunteer Q-School scores:
- Erica Popson 71-70-71-67-73--352 (-8) - T-9th
- Jessica Shepley 73-76-75-67-77--368 (+8) - 70th
- Chessey Thomas 72-74-77-74--297 (+9) - T-114th
- Nicole Smith 73-77-79-78---307 (+19) - T-148th
Here is Thomas' account of her final day at Q-School.
My time is Daytona Beach was a cut a little short of what I hoped it would be. Instead of being out on the Jones course playing today I am sitting at Panera and typing up this blog.
Making the cut would have been a huge accomplishment for me and that was my only goal this week. I had one bad hole yesterday that spoiled an otherwise good day (I wouldn't have made the cut even if I had made par on that hole for what it's worth).
I know my hard work has been paying off because parts of my game that haven't typically been as strong, like my putting, showed vast improvement this week and really keep my rounds together.
I would also like to make something clear, back in March when I decided that I would attend first Stage I never dreamed I would make it to Final Stage. That being said my intentions were never to come here and to leave school and my teammates early. That wasn't the point. I wanted to see what it was like to play in the Pro Golf world and prepare my best for this summer when I do turn Pro.
I gained more from these 3 weeks than I would have ever thought I would. I know that I am not where I need to be in order to earn a LPGA Tour card but I did learn that I am closer than I thought. I have a far better understanding of what I need to do to get there over the next year.
I want to take this post to say how grateful I am for the people who have fully supported me in this endeavor. Most specifically I want to thank my parents and other family members, my high school golf coach, my Saint George's family, and my Manito Family. I grew up in Spokane,WA with a couple of very tight knit groups and I am reminded of how fortunate I am in times like this.
This week I played in honor of our close family friend who lost his battle with cancer in February of 2012. Hal Campbell was my Mom's best friend from high schools husband and he was always so supportive of my sports growing up, especially when I got into golf. While he was going through treatment in Seattle, WA when we were sent there for Regionals my freshman year in 2011. I know he felt awful during his treatment but both he and his wife Cathy were out at Washington National watching me play in the cold and rainy conditions. I couldn't think of a better person to have on my mind and heart this week.
A caddie for a player I played with shared what Tom Watson and his caddie's secret to success was: never complain. I am taking this to heart, everyday I get to play college golf and hopefully one day professional golf is a blessing regardless of what my scorecard may read at the end of the day.
I am so looking forward to this upcoming spring season, we have an awesome tournament schedule ahead of us and I know my teammates are excited too. I can not believe this will be my final season of college golf! Time really does fly so I am going to appreciate every second.
Thanks for following along!
One last time, God Bless and Go Vols! Chessey