Dec. 3, 2012
Former AJGA players Rebecca
Lee-Bentham and Moriya Jutanugarn
earned co-medalist honors at the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament, securing LPGA
Tour cards for 2013.
Bentham of Toronto, posted five top-10s in her junior career,
including a fifth-place finish at the 2008 Woodward Video Junior at The
Greenbrier. She went on to compete for the Texas Longhorns.
Jutanugarn of Bangkok, Thailand, led all five rounds. The
Rolex Junior All-American boasts 11 top-five showings, including victories at
the 2011 Winn Grips Heather Farr Classic hosted by Longbow Golf Club and
back-to-back wins at the Scott Robertson Memorial (2011 and 2012).
Other AJGA alumnae who earned 2013 Tour cards include:
Kathleen Ekey of
Wadsworth, Ohio, collected five top-10 showing in AJGA events. In 2005, she
capped her AJGA career with a victory at the AJGA Richmond Junior. The same
year, the Rolex Junior All-American earned her second consecutive Hudson Junior
title. Ekey signed with Furman before signing with Alabama where she was an
Lisa McCloskey of
Montgomery, Texas, was a three-time Rolex Junior All-American and AJGA champion,
earning victories at the 2006 and 2008 Genesis Shootout presented by the Valero
Texas Open and the 2005 Stars of Texas Junior. A three-time All-American, McCloskey
began her collegiate career at Pepperdine then transferred to the University of
Laura Diaz of
Scotia, N.Y., found success at the junior level compiling four top-10 finishes in national competition. She
finished third at the Greater Greensboro Junior in 1992 and fifth at the 1993
Marriott at Sawgrass First Coast Junior Classic. Diaz went on to play at Wake
Forest, earning the title of Female Athlete of the Year in 1997. She turned
professional in 1997. Her professional career includes two victories in 2002,
the Welch’s / Circle K Championship and the LPGA Corning Classic.
Brooke Pancake of
Chattanooga, Tenn., posted 10 top-10 finishes in national junior competition.
Her best performances were in 2006 at the TaylorMade-adidas Golf Junior at
Innisbrook hosted by Sean O’Hair and the Hank Haney IJGA Junior Open, where she
had second-place showings. Pancake went on to play for the University of
Alabama where she was named the SEC Female Athlete of the Year for 2011-2012.
Austin Ernst of Seneca,
S.C., was a two-time Rolex Junior All-American. Her junior record includes
seven top-10 finishes. She won two consecutive events in 2006, winning the Burgett
H. Mooney, Jr. Rome Classic presented by State Mutual Insurance Company and the RTC Junior Classic. Ernst competed for LSU, where she
led the Tigers to third-place finishes in both the 2011 and 2012 NCAA
Championships and she was named the 2011 NCAA Individual Champion as a freshman.
Taylore Karle of
Scottsdale, Ariz., holds six AJGA titles on her junior record. The three-time
Rolex Junior All-American won the PING Phoenix Junior in both 2005 and 2006.
Karle signed with Pepperdine where she was a 2008 All-America and earned two
Irene Cho of La
Habra, Calif., won two AJGA tournaments in addition to seven top-five finishes.
A Rolex Junior All-American, Cho won the 2002 AJGA Morgan Run Junior and
represented the West at the 2002 Wyndham Cup. Cho competed for the USC Trojans,
posting two tournament wins and setting the school records for lowest round (64)
and lowest 54-hole score (203).
Karlin Beck of
Pike Road, Ala., Stephanie Sherlock
of Barrie, Ontario, Kim Welch of
Sacramento, Calif., Caroline Masson
of Gladbeck, Germany, and Lauren Doughtie of Suffolk, Va., also finished within the top-20 to secure 2013 Tour