UCLA signee Zheng earns Symetra Tour start
Yvonne Zheng has earned a spot in the Symetra Tour’s next Florida stop, the Guardian Retirement Championship at Sara Bay, to be played April 26-28 in Sarasota, Fla.
Zheng, a 17-year-old UCLA signee who lives in Bradenton, Fla., earned the spot in a points race that stretched across 13 IMG Junior Golf Tour events. This is the second year the Symetra Tour has offered the exemption to a junior player, but last year only six events counted as qualifiers.
Zheng also vied for last year’s spot. She led in points entering the final qualifying event, played at The Golf Club of North Hampton in Fernandina Beach, Fla., only to be overtaken by Natalia Perez of Bolivia.
This year, Zheng held a 20-point lead on 2013 classmate Camila Serrano of Colombia. Zheng’s second-place finish March 19 at the IMG Junior Golf Tour event at Victoria Hills Golf Club in DeLand, Fla., secured her spot at Sara Bay.
“I am just really excited about (Guardian Retirement Championship at) Sara Bay, so I’m going to practice a lot for it,” Zheng said. “Tee shots were important out there, so I was focused on putting myself in the fairway.”
Zheng has been playing competitive golf for only four years, but when she signed with UCLA, head coach Carrie Forysth called her ball-striking ability “reminiscent of Tiffany Joh,” a former Bruin and current LPGA player.
–Information from the IMG Junior Golf Tour used in this report