Blumenherst Medalist At Qualifying Tournament

By David Shefter, USGA

Far Hills, N.J. – As an amateur, Amanda Blumenherst achieved just about every imaginable milestone.

She won a U.S. Women’s Amateur in 2008, played on a pair of victorious USA Curtis Cup Teams in 2006 and 2008, earned three college player of the year honors and helped Duke win two NCAA Division I titles.

Now she can add LPGA Q-School medalist to the résumé.

 Blumenherstnew091208  
Amanda Blumenherst, the 2008 U.S. Women's Amateur champion, found Q-School to be a good test of what awaits on the professional ranks. (Steven Gibbons/USGA)
 

The 23-year-old Scottsdale, Ariz., resident, who turned pro after graduating this past May, posted a 90-hole total of 9-under-par 351 for a two-stroke victory at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Because of inclement weather on Friday and Saturday, the tournament was extended into Monday, where Blumenherst shot a final-round 68 (four under) on the Champions Course to edge Katie Kempter and Marianne Skarpnord. The competition was played on both the Champions and Legends courses the first four rounds, with the low 70 golfers and ties advancing to the final round.

The low 20 competitors earned LPGA Tour cards as Category 11 members for the 2010 season. The next 10 finishers will have Category 16 status, with those placing 31-40 having Category 20 status.

Blumeherst, who also represented the USA on two World Amateur Teams (2006 and 2008) followed the lead of 2008 Curtis Cup teammate Stacy Lewis, who was the Q-School medalist last year.

“Of course coming into Q-school is extremely nerve-racking,” said Blumenherst, who made the cut at the 2009 U.S. Women’s Open at Saucon Valley Country Club in Bethlehem, Pa. “It's kind of a one-shot deal for the whole deal. I was confident in my game, but still, you never know what can happen. Golf is a funny game. Coming into the last few days I was very confident in how I was playing. I just stayed in the fairway and got onto the greens and my putts were close. It was a winning combination

“I did feel pressure from myself and media and even my peers and sponsors, but that's just a part of it. It's part of playing a professional sport and having to deal with it and the energy. That is what makes a great athlete.”

Four other players with USGA ties also achieved Category 11 status for 2010, including Mariajo Uribe of Colombia, who defeated Blumenherst in the 2007 U.S. Women’s Amateur final at Crooked Stick Golf Club outside of Indianapolis. Uribe left UCLA in the spring after just two seasons and made her professional debut at the U.S. Women’s Open, where she was paired with Blumenherst in the third round. Uribe closed Q-School with rounds of 68-69 for a 3-under-357 total and a share of 12th position.

Julieta Granada, the 2004 U.S. Girls’ Junior champion, shot a final-round 67 and finished fourth at 6-under 354.

Spain’s Azahara Munoz, the 2008 NCAA Division I individual champion and the runner-up to Blumenherst at the 2008 Women’s Amateur at Eugene (Ore.) Country Club, shared fifth place at 5-under 355. Munoz turned pro shortly after playing in the 2009 U.S. Women’s Open, where she was exempt based on her Women’s Amateur runner-up finish.

Former Duke standout Liz Janangelo, a member of the 2004 USA Curtis Cup Team, tied for 16th at 1-under 359.

Two players with USGA ties earned Category 20 status. Meredith Duncan, the 2001 U.S. Women’s Amateur champion and member of the victorious 2002 USA Curtis Cup Team, tied for 32nd at 3-over 363, while 2000 U.S. Girls’ Junior champion Lisa Ferrero tied for 38th at 4-over 364.

Virada Nirapathpongporn, the 2003 U.S. Women’s Amateur champion and ’03 U.S. Women’s a Amateur Public Links runner-up to Michelle Wie, failed to gain any 2010 status by finishing at 9-over 369. Two-time WAPL champion and 2008 USA Curtis Cup Team member Tiffany Joh also failed to get status after finishing at 11-over 371. Joh, a 2009 UCLA graduate, did win the Duramed Futures Tour qualifying event last month and will likely play on that circuit next year.

Past Curtis Cup participants Alison Walshe (2008) and Mollie Fankhauser (2002) wound up at 7-over 367 and 9-over 369, respectively. Ayaka Kaneko, the 2007 U.S. Girls’ Junior runner-up, finished at 8-over 368.

David Shefter is a USGA staff writer in the Communications department. E-mail him with questions or comments at dshefter@usga.org.

 

 

Partner Links
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
Chevron
   

The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.


Chevron image
Rolex
   

Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.



Rolex image
IBM
   

IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website, www.usopen.com, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit http://www.usopen.com/IBM

AmEx image
Lexus
   

Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit http://www.lexus.com/

AmEx image
American Express
   

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit www.americanexpress.com/entertainment


AmEx image