Casie Cathrea announces decision to turn pro

Casie Cathrea hopes to qualify for the LPGA Swinging Skirts Classic in San Francisco.

Casie Cathrea earned the chance to qualify for the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic as an amateur, but hopes to play the event as a pro.

Cathrea first announced that she will become a professional golfer via Twitter Saturday and confirmed it with Golfweek on Sunday.

"It's hard not to be excited when you wanted to play pro golf for as long as I have," Cathrea said. "I'm excited to finally get out there and play with the best players in the world, because one of my goals is to be the No. 1 player in the world."

Cathrea missed out on the chance to play for the U.S. Curtis Cup team after the team was announced in early March.

She said that she hoped to play on the elite amateur team and then turn pro after Q-School.

"I'm disappointed I didn't make the team, but I'm moving forward. When one door closes, another one opens," Cathrea said. "When I didn't get picked, it sort of sped up the process. I'm happy that it did because now I get to follow my dreams quicker than I thought."

She will tee it up as a pro for the first time at The Cactus Tour's event at Orange Tree Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., April 7-9. She'll then move on to play the Monday qualifying event for the April 24-27 Swinging Skirts tournament in San Francisco. She earned the spot after winning the San Francisco City Women's Championship March 9.

The Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic will be played at Lake Merced Golf Club, familiar territory for Cathrea. She holds the course record and moved on past sectional qualifying for the U.S. Women's Open with a 4-under 140 last May.

Cathrea has had success as an amateur throughout her career, winning the Women's Porter Cup last summer, earning low amateur honors at the 2013 U.S. Women's Open and reaching the quarterfinals of the 2013 U.S. Girls' Junior Championship. She played for Oklahoma State for one semester before leaving the school to fully pursue her golf career.

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