Green, 19, takes Q-School in runaway fashion
PHOTOS: LPGA Q-School (Final)
LPGA Q-School is officially over at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla., with Jaye Marie Green finishing 10 strokes ahead to lead the qualifiers for the 2014 season.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Tiffany Joh described a drop-kicked drive hit by Jaye Marie Green on Sunday that managed to work out perfectly and then threw down her towel in mock exasperation.
“This is Q-School!” said Joh, who played alongside Green the last three rounds. “It’s not supposed to be this easy.”
Green’s victory lap Sunday at LPGA Q-School put an exclamation point on an utterly dominating performance. The 19-year-old from Boca Raton, Fla., set a tournament record with a 29-under 331 total over 90 holes, beating the field by 10 strokes. Ai Miyazato won by 12 in 2005.
“To shoot 4 under again today and that be my highest round? I guess I’m speechless,” Green said.
Green, runner-up to Lydia Ko (who notched her first win as a pro Sunday in Taiwan) at the 2012 U.S. Women’s Amateur, started the week with a 10-under 62 on LPGA International’s Jones Course and then cruised with rounds of 68-66-67-68. South Korea’s Mi Rim Lee finished second at 341, while UCLA’s Joh came in third at 345.
The top 20 players earned Category 12 status for 2014. Ashleigh Simon and Haru Nomura won a four-way playoff for the last two spots.
After posting only one bogey through 72 holes, Green started giving herself a pep talk on Sunday when she found herself 1 over through four. She quickly birdied Nos. 5 and 6 to keep the gas pedal on the floor.
The goal for Sunday was to get to 30 under, and when her eagle attempt from off the fringe dove at the last second, Green was slightly disappointed. But she got over it real fast.
“I’ll probably go to dinner with my family and just keep screaming,” said Green of her celebratory plans.
At the beginning of the week, Donnie Green almost gave the bag to someone else after his back went out. Green, a teaching pro at Broken Sound, looped for his daughter all year on the Symetra Tour and plans to carry the bag on the LPGA in 2014. Fortunately, he showed improvement just in time.
“We just had a blast out there,” Jaye Marie said.
For two years, Donnie has told the family there will come a day when Jaye Marie will shoot 62. When it happened Wednesday, Donnie had to lag behind his daughter on several holes so she wouldn’t see the tears welling up in his eyes.
On Sunday, Donnie ran ahead to cry and on the 18th, he darted in front of the crowd of faithful supporters to turn back and give an emotional thank you.
“We were just all crying on the bridge,” Donnie said.
Jaye Marie had won the 2011 South Atlantic Women’s Amateur down the road in Ormond Beach, Fla., and had a couple dozen fans out cheering her on each day.
That says a lot about the Green family. They’re likable folks.
Stephanie Green joked that hardly an article goes by when husband Donnie’s mop of frantic hair isn’t mentioned. Now add to the mix Green’s boyfriend, Thomas Borland, who sports a head full of dreadlocks that are seven years in the making.
Never a dull moment with this crew.
Green finished the 2013 Symetra season ranked 29th on the money list. Donnie believes that year on the Symetra Tour was critical to his daughter’s development.
Before Jaye Marie qualified for the LPGA, she looked at the 2014 schedule with envy. The three places she has always wanted to visit – Bahamas, Australia and Hawaii – were within her grasp. On Sunday, she could hardly contain her excitement as she talked about what comes next.
“I feel like now my life is going to change,” she said.
In ways she can’t even imagine.