VENICE, FLORIDA, October 23, 2016 - Norway’s Marianne Skarpnord (Sarpsborg, Norway) cruised to medalist honors at Stage II of LPGA Qualifying Tournament on Sunday with a final-round 1-under, 71 to finish at 11-under, 277, five shots clear of second. A total of 84 players advanced to Final Stage of LPGA Qualifying Tournament, which is November 30-December 4 at LPGA International in Daytona Beach. The top 20 finishers at final stage will earn LPGA Tour membership for the 2017 season.
World No. 2 amateur, Bronte Law (Manchester, England), finished second at 6-under, 282 while runner-up at the 2015 U.S. Girls’ Junior Angel Yin (Arcadia, Calif.) finished third at 5-under, 283.
Skarpnord, one of only two players to post four under-par rounds (Taylor Totland), made three birdies against two bogeys on Sunday.
“It has been a good week and I’ve had my coach with me which is really nice,” said Skarpnord. “We did a lot of good work starting last Friday and Saturday and the win feels good. My putting is starting to feel better and it all worked out.”
Skarpnord, 30, will head to LPGA Final Stage of Qualifying Tournament for the first time since 2009.
“My best friend Camilla (Lennarth) and I came here to do a job and we’ve done it so we’re very happy about that,” said Skarpnord. “I look forward to coming back in a few weeks.”
Skarpnord will continue her preparation for Final Stage by playing in a few Ladies European Tour events in the Middle East.
“The Olympics and getting my LPGA Tour card were my main goals this year,” said Skarpnord, who represented Norway in Rio. “I’ve done one so hopefully I can do the second in a few weeks.”
There are 29 different nations represented amongst the 84 players advancing to final stage. The cut off to advance was 12-over, 300.
Other notables players to advance include former Stanford star Mariah Stackhouse, No. 1 amateur in the world Leona Maguire, UL International Crown star Mel Reid, 17-year-old Japanese star Nasa Hataoka, Olympian Aditi Ashok and Beth Allen, the highest ranked player in the field at No. 72.
ENGLISH STARS BRONTE LAW AND MEL REID ADVANCEBronte Law, the No. 2 ranked amateur in the world, and Mel Reid, a two-time Solheim Cup participant, both easily advanced out of Stage II of LPGA Qualifying Tournament.
“I was probably expected to get in the top 80 and I made some silly mistakes so I probably had my C game, but I came here to get the job done and I have a bit of time at home now,” said Reid. “I have a few tournaments (on the Ladies European Tour) and I’ll make sure my preparation is good for final stage.”
Reid, who is a perfectionist, said she’s never truly happy with her game although she posted rounds of 70-71-74-71.
“Today I could have shot really low, but I kind of lost my concentration coming into the back nine,” said Reid. “I should have kicked on, but I knew I made it and I kind of switched off a bit quicker than I wanted to.”
Reid said that after playing on the LET, she will head to Florida a week early and catch up with friends in West Palm and Orlando while gearing up for final stage.
“I have to get used to this Floridian grass that we are not used to,” said Reid. “I’m going to bring my coach over and have a little boot camp a few days before to make sure I am really ready.”
Reid, who last came to LPGA Qualifying Tournament in 2013, feels much more ready this time around.
“I’ve obviously had some personal issues and I know that everyone at home is OK and I feel that I can now go and pursue my career in the direction I want,” said Reid. “I’m 29, but I feel 25 so I feel like I lost four years. I feel like my game is there competing on Solheim Cup’s and majors and I can compete with these girls week in and week out.”
Meanwhile, Law will head back to UCLA for midterms before gearing up for final stage.
“I have to study now, golf will be put to the side for a little bit,” said Law. “It won’t be long because I have to play back with the team at the East Lake Cup next weekend so I’ll be very busy. I’ve really got to knuckle down.”
Law posted rounds of 69-70-74-69 to finish in second at 6-under, 282.
“I’m very excited, I came here with a goal to get to third stage and I was able to do that by playing really well,” said Law. “I’m definitely glad it is all done now.”
Law won the ANNIKA Award following the 2015-16 season and picked up her record seventh win at UCLA recently.
“If I could write a book, this year is exactly how I would have written it,” said Law. “The year has been really special. The LPGA has been the goal since I was really young watching the girls on TV. The fact that I am going to third stage makes it more real and this will drive me over the coming weeks to be the best I can be.”
MICHIGAN STATE’S FERRELL ADVANCESAllyssa Ferrell (Edgerton, Wisconsin) posted her third steady round of the week on Sunday, a 1-under, 71 to sail into final stage by finishing T24.
“It’s just a stepping stone,” said Ferrell of advancing. “After the Symetra Tour season, I was hoping to go straight to final stage so coming here I was really anxious this morning just because I have been playing well, but you never know what can happen. This is just one more opportunity to get that card (LPGA), which we all want.”
Ferrell had a strong season on the Symetra Tour, finishing 35th on the Volvik Race for the Card money list.
“I’ve improved significantly this year, I reconstructed my swing and I finally feel like that is coming along,” said Ferrell. “My game has continued to improve every year and if that keeps happening than hopefully I will get to the end result (LPGA).”
Ferrell will prepare for final stage with her coach, Dennis Tiziani, back in Wisconsin.
ARIZONA SENIOR WANASA ZHOU EASILY ADVANCESWanasa Zhou (Blackburn, Australia) easily advanced to Final Stage of LPGA Qualifying Tournament with a final-round 2-under, 70 to finish at 5-over, 293.
Zhou, a senior at Arizona, posted rounds of 74-70-77-72.
“I’m really excited to advance, my goal was to come and get status before the end of my senior year and I think I did that,” said Zhou, who has an accounting test right when she gets back on Tuesday. “I played well and my game is in a good place.”
Zhou’s caddy this week is her teacher, Henry Liaw, who won the 2001 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship and is the head golf professional at Morongo Golf Club at Tukwet Canyon, the site of a Symetra Tour event.
“It’s hard for me to go all the way home so I play and practice at Morongo whenever I have breaks from school,” said the 22-year-old Zhou. “Henry has been a big help because he knows what it’s like to compete at a high level.”
Zhou didn’t start playing golf until she was 13 years old, but has quickly become a rising star. She will prepare for final stage at school and says that it’s a good time of year with the fall season ending. She actually missed a team tournament in Hawaii to play Stage II.