Jaye Marie Green completed a runaway victory in the LPGA Tour qualifying tournament Sunday, finishing with a record 29-under-par 331 total for a 10-stroke margin.
Article continues below ...
The 19-year-old Green, from Boca Raton, closed with a 4-under 68 on LPGA International’s Jones Course. She broke the event 90-hole mark of 18-under 342 set by Stacy Lewis in 2008.
”This is going to be a week that I’ll always remember,” Green said. ”I was the most nervous on that last green when I didn’t have to be, but I really was. But when that putt fell I was just speechless and I think I was just seeing stars really. It was a cool feeling. I just felt really relieved.”
The top 20 earned Category 12 status, the next 26 players received membership in Category 17, and the other 22 players who made the 72-hole cut got Symetra Tour status.
South Korea’s Mi Rim Lee was second after a 69. Tiffany Joh finished third at 15 under after a 71.
Amy Anderson, the 21-year-old former North Dakota State star who won a record 20 college titles, was fourth at 14 under after a 69.
”This is not what I expected at all,” Anderson said. ”The week or so leading up, I was actually struggling with my game quite a bit. So I was thinking I would sneak in by the skin of my teeth. To come out here and just play well all week was really exciting and took the stress out of it.”
Green bogeyed the par-3 third hole, ending a 59-hole run without a bogey. She rebounded with birdies on Nos. 5 and 6 to make the turn at 1 under. She birdied Nos. 10 and 11, dropped a stroke on the par-3 14th and closed with birdies on the final two holes.
”It’s been a dream come true really,” Green said. ”Since I was a little girl it’s what I’ve always wanted to do. Having my dad beside me, couldn’t have been a better feeling really. Having all my family here is just awesome. I’m so overwhelmed right now, I don’t how to react.”
Green, who lost to Lydia Ko in the final of the 2012 U.S. Women’s Amateur, played on the Symetra Tour this year. She had three top-10 finishes and finished the season 29th on the money list.
”It really is the stepping stone to getting into the LPGA Tour,” Green said. ”Just the things that I’ve learned, like the key elements that you need to be out there was a huge help. For that to happen so fast, like me being here today after my first season, I wasn’t expecting it to come that fast.”