CURTIS CUP
Three 2012 Curtis Cup Members Earn 2013 LPGA Cards December 2, 2012 By David Shefter

Austin Ernst was one of three members of the 2012 USA Curtis Cup Team to earn LPGA Tour cards for the 2013 season. (Steven Gibbons/USGA)

Daytona Beach, Fla. – Three members of the 2012 USA Curtis Cup Team – Lisa McCloskey, Austin Ernst and Brooke Pancake – earned their LPGA Tour cards for the 2013 season by finishing among the top 20 players at the 90-hole final qualifying tournament that concluded on Sunday at LPGA International (Champions Course).

The top 20 finishers at the third and final stage of LPGA Tour Qualifying School received full playing privileges for the 2013 season (Priority List 12).

Those who finished 21st through 45th received limited status (Priority List 17).

McCloskey, who also represented the USA at this year’s Women’s World Amateur Team Championship in Turkey, carded a final-round 71 on the par-72 layout for a five-day total of 8-under 352, which gave the former University of Southern California standout a share of fifth with Chie Arimura of Japan.

Ernst decided to leave Louisiana State University in May and the decision paid off for the 2011 NCAA Division I individual champion. The Seneca, S.C., native shot a 2-under 70 on Sunday for a 4-under total of 356. That was good enough to share 11th position with Pancake.

“I just live the dream now,” Ernst told Golfweek’s Julie Williams following the round. “I weighed all the pros and cons [of turning professional], and it just turned out that was the best option for me.”

Pancake, who helped the University of Alabama to the Division I title in May before going 4-0-1 in the USA’s narrow one-point loss to Great Britain and Ireland in the Curtis Cup, also shot a final-round 70. The Chattanooga, Tenn., native turned pro after the Curtis Cup and competed in the U.S. Women’s Open at Blackwolf Run in Kohler, Wis., as a professional.

Moriya Jutanugarn, 18, of Thailand, the runner-up at the 2011 U.S. Women’s Amateur, shared medalist honors with Rebecca Lee-Bentham, of Canada, at 13-under 347. Lee-Bentham closed with a 67, while Jutanugarn shot a 74, her only above-par round of the competition.

Brianna Do, of Lakewood, Calif., the 2011 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links champion, tied for 42nd at 1-over 361.