Rah, Pace prevail in LPGA’s first ‘Open Qualifier’

The LPGA’s first “Open Qualifier” was a success, judging by the number of players who participated. Fifty-six players were on the roster to compete March 21 at the Kia Classic Monday qualifier. One week prior, only nine players had battled for two spots at the “closed” Founders qualifier.

Jane Rah and Lee-Ann Pace shot 70 and beat out rookie Jennifer Johnson in a playoff to earn their starts at Industry Hills. Neither Rah nor Pace have LPGA status for the 2011 season. Pace, the LET’s 2010 Order of Merit winner, is also in the Kraft Nabisco field.

Lexi Thompson shot 74 and failed the qualify. Thompson had petitioned the tour last year to double the number of sponsor exemptions players are allowed, from six to 12. The LPGA denied that petition, but opened up Monday qualifying to non-members, thereby giving Thompson more opportunities to compete on tour. There are six remaining “open” qualifiers at domestic events this season.

2010 NCAA champion Caroline Hedwall was disqualified for hitting a shot after the horn was blown for dangerous weather.

• • • 

Scores with relation to par from the LPGA’s Monday qualifier at the Kia Classic, played March 21 at Industry Hills Golf Course (Babe & Eisenhower) in Industry, Calif.:

x-Jane Rah...70

x-Lee-Ann Pace...70

Jennifer Johnson...70

Jaclyn Sweeney...71

Jenny Gleason...71

Tiffany Joh...72

Meredith Duncan...72

Sydnee Michaels...73

Yoo Kyeong Kim...74

Haru Nomura...74

Tanya Dergal...74

Beth Bader...74

Alexis Thompson...74

Yu-Ling Hseih...74

Isabelle Beisiegel...74

Ryann O’Toole...75

Yuyang Zhang... 75

Alison Lee...76

Jean Bartholemew...76

Jenny Lee...76

Elana Robles...76

Jennifer Bermingham...77

Ayaka Kaneko...77

Amelia Lewis...77

Jennifer Suh...78

Jean Reynolds...78

Nicole Smith...78

Adrienne White...79

Yi-yu Cheng...79

Ashli Bunch...79

a-Angel Yin...79

Venessa Brockett...80

Hsuan-Ping Chang...80

Allison Whitaker...80

Candace Shepperle...80

Ashley Smith...80

Angel Sze...80

Melanie DeLeon...81

Jessica Shepley...81

a-Erika Iiagan...82

Jordan Rose...82

Ulrika Van-Niekerk...83

Selanee Henderson...84

Christina Stockton...84

Caroline Hedwall...DQ

Carly Ludwig...WD

Tzu-Chi Lin...WD

x-won playoff

a-amateur

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