Fifty-four holes remain to determine which golfers will advance to the final stage of LPGA Tour Qualifying School, but after one round of sectional qualifying, Michelle Wie is in excellent shape.
The 18-year-old shot a 2-under-par 70 on the Dinah Shore course at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage and is in a four-way tie for eighth. South Korea’s Sun-Ju Ahn fired a 6-under 66 on Dinah Shore and is in the lead by three strokes.
The top 30 players and ties after four rounds advance to the final stage, which will be held Dec. 3-7 at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla.
While there’s arguably no player in the field with the name recognition of Wie, there are plenty of contenders with ties to Southern California. Recent Pepperdine graduate and Australia native Leanne Bowditch is one of six players in second place after a 69, while a quartet of local residents – Megan Heckeroth (Los Angeles), Jamie Park (San Diego), Dana Bates (Thousand Palms) and Caryn Wilson (Rancho Mirage) – are in a 14-player logjam for 12th place at 1-under par.
Other notables include international players Paola Moreno (Colombia) and Dewi Claire Schreefel (The Netherlands), who were on this year’s USC women’s national title squad. Moreno shot 73 and is currently one shot off the cut line, while Schreefel struggled to a 77 and is tied for 98th.
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For wrap-ups on LPGA sectional qualifying from Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, check back daily to Southland Golf.