Tiffany Joh finished at the top of a long list of players at the final stage of Duramed Futures Tour Qualifying School Friday, shooting a final-round 73 in strong winds to win the event with a 12-under 348 total.
Joh, a two-time U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Champion (2006, 2008) who graduated from UCLA last spring, finished one shot ahead of Danielle Mills, who graduated in the spring from Elon. Both players carded three sub-70 rounds for the week, and were tied entering Friday’s final round.
“It was like being a bomb technician out there,” said Joh, who also will play in the LPGA Tour qualifying tournament. “Sometimes it was like, ‘Red wire or blue wire?’ That’s what it felt like picking a club today, but you just had to make a choice and commit to hitting that club. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t.”
A total of 287 players entered Round 1, but that number was cut to 96 players for the fifth and final round, played at the Lake Region Yacht and Country Club in Winter Haven, Fla.
Mallory Blackwelder, who transferred to Kentucky after two years at Florida, shot 74 to finish at 5-under 355 and in a tie for fourth. Amateur Jane Rah, a freshman at Oklahoma State who has appeared in a handful of LPGA events, and Jodi Ewart, a senior at New Mexico who finished T-10 at the 2009 Ladies Irish Open, tied for sixth at 4-under 356. Laura Keuny, a senior at Michigan State, did the same, and finished ninth at 2-under 358.
Nannette Hill, a recent graduate of Wake Forest, rounded out the top 10 at 1-under 359.
Sarah Brown, a 17-year-old amateur from Lopatcong, N.J., finished T-15 at 4-over 364.
Mariajo Uribe, the 2007 U.S. Women’s Amateur champion who left UCLA last spring as a sophomore to play professionally, had a T-38 finish at 9-over 369. After opening 71-76, Uribe got it going in Round 3 for a 68, but closed 78-76.
Daniella Iacobelli, who won the Division II national championship as a freshman at Florida Tech in 2007, was at 11-over 371 and tied for 51st.
Caroline Westrup, who graduated from Florida State in the spring as the first four-time All-American in school history, finished T-62 with her 14-over 374.
The exact number of players earning exempt status will not be determined until after the completion of the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament. Once status is determined for the 2010 LPGA Tour, status will be assigned on the 2010 Futures Tour.
Last year, 30 players earned exempt status at Futures Tour Q-School.