Harigae Leaves Duke, Plans To
Turn ProJanuary 12, 2009
By David Shefter, USGA
Durham, N.C. - Past U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links
champion and 2008 USA Curtis Cupper Mina Harigae, 19, of
Monterey, Calif., has decided to leave Duke University midway
through her freshman season and plans to turn professional
sometime in 2009.
Duke coach Dan Brooks made the announcement on
"Mina is an exceptional golfer and we wish her all the
best in her future," said Brooks on the Duke University
women's golf Web site. "If she works hard, she should have a
very bright career in professional golf."
Harigae claimed the 2007 WAPL title by defeating Stephany
Fleet, 4 and 3, at Kearney Hill Golf Links in Lexington, Ky.
The championship came in her 13th USGA event and just a week
prior to her making the 36-hole cut at the U.S. Women's Open
at Pine Needles, where she tied for 66th.
Last spring, Harigae, who has competed in 19 USGA
championships, was chosen to represent the USA in the 2008
Curtis Cup at the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland,
posting a 2-2 record to help
the Americans win
for the sixth consecutive Match.
During her brief freshman campaign at Duke, Harigae
appeared in three tournaments and recorded two top-five
finishes. She compiled a stroke average of 71.13.
"I want to thank Dan Brooks and all of my Blue Devil
teammates for a great fall at Duke," Harigae said in a school
release. "I enjoyed playing college golf and Duke is a
wonderful place, but I have decided I need to focus more on
golf and my goal of turning professional. I have not decided
when I will turn professional but I plan on doing so by the
end of [this] summer.
"I wish my teammates all the best this spring in their
quest for an ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) and national
championship and will miss everyone."
Since Harigae, a two-time U.S. Girls' Junior semifinalist
(2003 and '06), did not go through LPGA Tour Qualifying
School this past fall and is not a member of that circuit,
she would be eligible for only six sponsor's exemptions. The
U.S. Women's Open and Women's British Open would not count
toward that figure.
Harigae has been in the national golf consciousÂness since
she won the first of four consecutive California Women's
Amateur titles as a 12-year-old. The Women's Amateur Public
Links marked the first time, however, that she had advanced
to a USGA national final.
Duke, which is led by reigning U.S. Women's Amateur
champion and two-time Curtis Cupper Amanda Blumenherst, opens
the spring schedule Feb. 16-17 in Parrish, Fla., at the
Central District Invitational.
David Shefter is a USGA Digital Media staff writer.
E-mail him with questions or comments at