Choi Hye-jin of South Korea watches her tee shot during the third round of the LPGA Q-Series on Falls Course at Magnolia Grove Golf Course in Mobile, Alabama, last Saturday, in this photo provided by LPGA. (LPGA)
South Korean tour star Choi Hye-jin has made the initial cut at the LPGA Tour's qualifying tournament in Alabama.
Choi, a three-time Korea LPGA (KLPGA) Tour Player of the Year, was one of five South Koreans to finish inside the top 70 and ties after the first phase of the LPGA Q-Series concluded in Mobile, Alabama, on Sunday (local time).
After the first 72 holes, Choi is in second place at 17-under 269, two strokes back of Pauline Roussin-Bouchard of France.
Another KLPGA player, An Narin, is alone in third place at 14-under.
In all, 74 players out of 110 will move on to the second and final phase, which tees off in Dothan, Alabama, on Thursday.
And 144 holes, the top 45 players and ties will receive LPGA status for the 2022 season. Other players who complete all eight rounds but do not receive LPGA card will instead earn status for the second-tier Symetra Tour for next year. Scores will be cumulative over these two weeks.
Choi, who has won 10 times on the Korean tour, had four consecutive rounds in the 60s at Magnolia Grove Golf Course, and closed with a 66 that included five birdies and an eagle.
An, a two-time KLPGA winner, also carded a 66 on Sunday with seven birdies against one bogey.
Hong Yae-eun, a 19-year-old rookie in KLPGA this year, was the third-best Korean at nine-under 277, which put her in a five-way tie for 11th.
Park Kum-kang, who won a Symetra Tour event this year, tied for 52nd at even-par 286. Kim Min-g, a fellow Symetra Tour player, was another stroke behind, in a tie for 62nd.
A two-time LPGA champion Lee Mi-hyang missed the cut by one shot at two-over 288. She had three straight rounds in the 70s, including a disastrous 76 on Saturday with two double bogeys and three bogeys, and her closing round of 69 wasn't enough.
Jang Hyo-joon, the only South Korean amateur in the tournament, tied for 98th at seven-over. Kwak Min-seo will not be back in LPGA after playing the past two seasons there, with her four-round total of 13-over in the Q-Series. (Yonhap)