Nelly Korda punched her ticket to the LPGA Tour with a ferocious finish at last week’s LPGA Symetra Tour Championship. Her tie for sixth place vaulted her to No. 9 on the money list, and that means she gets to bypass this week’s second stage of Qualifying School.
That leaves two Manatee County golfers, Lakewood Ranch alumna Ericka Schneider and Manatee alumna Christina Miller, fighting for a spot into Q-School’s final stage set for Nov. 28-Dec.4 at LPGA International in Daytona Beach.
The second stage begins Thursday and wraps up Sunday at Plantation Golf and Country Club in Venice.
Schneider begins Thursday’s first round at 1:05 p.m. off the first tee on the Panther course. Miller tees off No. 10 at 1:05 p.m. on the Panther course. The two will switch to the Bobcat course for Friday’s second round.
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New greens at Bobby Jones G.C.
Bobby Jones Golf Club is unveiling new greens at the end of October for its American course, which is playing host to the 45th annual Men’s Better Ball Championship. The new greens will feature Diamond Zoysia turf to match the British course, which had its greens replaced in 2015.
A special $21.50 (plus tax) rate for the grand reopening is valid for both American and British courses on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 29-30. The rate includes a complimentary 12-ounce soft drink or beer at the Libby’s Greenside restaurant inside the clubhouse.
There’s still time to register for the Men’s Better Ball Championship. Registration closes Monday, Oct. 24 at 5 p.m. It’s $190 per team, which includes golf with cart, tee gift, non-alcohol beverage each round and lunch following the final round on Oct. 30. To register, visit bobbyjonesgolfclub.com or call the course at 954-4163.
Manatee County pro nets award
IMG Academy alumnus and Manatee County resident Emiliano Grillo was voted the 2016 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year last week. Grillo burst onto the PGA Tour scene in 2015 with a playoff victory over Kevin Na in his first career start. He tallied two more top-10 finishes, including a tie for 10th at the season-ending PGA Tour Championship. Grillo became just the ninth rookie to qualify for the Tour Championship, since 2007 when the FedEx Cup Playoffs began. Grillo’s year also added up to ranking No. 25 in the official world golf rankings.
Locals advance in Web.com Q-School
Saint Stephen’s alumnus Sean Kelly made it through the first stage of Web.com Tour Q-School. Playing The Breakers’ Rees Jones course in West Palm Beach, Kelly posted a 2-under-par 286 to tie for 22nd. The top 25 and ties advanced to the second stage, and Kelly hit that on the number. The second stage is held at various venues in November. Manatee alumnus Sean Jacklin also advanced following a tie for 21st place at The Woodlands in Texas last Friday. Like Kelly’s first stage site, the top 25 and ties moved on from Jacklin’s venue. Lakewood Ranch’s Adam Hogue was among the top 24 to get through the first stage at SunRiver Golf Club in St. George, Utah, last week. Hogue tied for 15th place with a 17-under-par 267. Bradenton’s Domenico Geminiani (tie-11th at Lakeland’s Grasslands Golf and Country Club) advanced in early October.
On Thursday, Oct. 13 at Tara Golf and Country Club, Ada Newton aced the 128-yard sixth hole with a driver. Witnesses were Patty Lakner, Janet Bloom and Deb Caswell.