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Brent Kelley

20 Get Through LPGA Q-School Finals, Christina Kim Misses Out

By December 2, 2012

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Rebecca Lee-Bentham and Moriya Jutanugarn tied for medalist honors at the 2012 LPGA Q-School finals, leading 20 golfers onto the 2013 LPGA Tour.

The Top 20 finishers at the final stage received the highest-available exemption status. The Top 20 should be able to put together decent (although probably not packed) schedules on the 2013 LPGA Tour, while those outside the Top 20 will have more of a challenge getting into LPGA events (and those farther down will be relegated to Symetra Tour events).

Lee-Bentham was a rookie on the LPGA in 2012, but had to return to Q-School after earning less than $20,000 in 14 starts. She was one of two Canadians to earn her tour card, joined by Stephanie Sherlock.

The 18-year-old Jutanugarn, from Thailand, had been one of the top-ranked amateurs for several years (along with her sister, Ariya, whose request for a waiver of the minimum age to compete was denied by the LPGA).

Here are the Top 20 finishers who earned the highest exemption status:

Rebecca Lee-Bentham, 347
Moriya Jutanugarn, 347
Ayako Uehara, 348
Kathleen Ekey, 350
Lisa McCloskey, 352
Chie Arimura, 352
Felicity Johnson, 353
Laura Diaz, 354
Karlin Beck, 354
Stephanie Sherlock, 355
Marina Stuetz, 356
Caroline Masson, 356
Brooke Pancake, 356
Austin Ernst, 356
Kayla Mortellaro, 356
Kim Welch, 356
Irene Cho, 357
Nicole Jeray, 357
Taylore Karle, 357
Lauren Doughtie, 357

The last four players - Cho, Jeray, Karle and Doughtie - survived a 7-for-4 playoff. Kelly Jacques, Jia-Yun Li and Breanna Elliott were the unfortunate playoff losers.

The biggest name missing - the biggest name at the 2012 LPGA Q-School finals - is that of Christina Kim. The 2-time LPGA winner and 3-time Solheim Cup player was one of 10 players to finish tied for 39th place.

So Kim is stuck with a low exemption status for 2013. However, it's tough to imagine her not being able to get her full allotment of sponsor exemptions, and Kim will have opportunities to play her way into some other events. We'll likely see her on some other tours in 2013, too, including the Ladies European Tour, where, in 2011, Kim earned her most recent victory.

For more info:
Final Stage final scores
List of past medalists at LPGA Q-School

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