Cathrea, 13, qualifies for LPGA event

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Editor’s note: Cathrea made a hole-in-one on the par-3 165-yard 12th with a 5-iron, her third hole of the first round.

Freshman biology can wait.

Casie Cathrea, a 13-year-old freshman at Livermore (Calif.) High, won a Monday qualifier Sept. 21 to gain a spot in the LPGA’s CVS/Pharmacy LPGA Challenge this week.

“I told (my biology teacher) I had to miss the test because I was playing in a tournament,” Cathrea told the Contra Costa Times. “He asked what tournament and I said the LPGA. He was like, ‘Wow, you’re there already?’ “

Cathrea beat Nicole Jeray in a playoff at Blackhawk Country Club in Danville, Calif., site of the tournament. Cathrea, a member at Blackhawk, two-putted on the 18th green to advance.

“My legs were shaking over that second putt,” she told the newspaper. “It was only about 2 feet, but I was thinking that it meant getting in and I was so excited. Fortunately, I made it.”

Cathrea isn’t the youngest player to qualify for an LPGA event. Michelle Wie was 12 years, 4 months and 17 days when she qualified for the 2002 LPGA Takefuji Classic.

Cathrea got a taste of elite amateur golf this summer when she advanced to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links. Jennifer Song, Golfweek’s College Player of the Year, defeated her en route to winning the title. Cathrea also advanced to the Round of 32 at the U.S. Girls’ Junior. At the end of August, she tied for third at the AJGA’s Stockton Sports Commission Junior Classic.

As for that biology test, Cathrea said she will make it up on Monday.

“I can always bring my book out to the course,” Cathrea told the Times. “People will be saying, ‘Hey, there’s Casie. What’s she doing? Oh, she’s just studying for her biology test.’ ” readers: We value your input and welcome your comments, but please be respectful in this forum.