A solid weekend helped Sue Kim earn a conditional card on the LPGA Tour, but the Langley native ran out of holes before she was able to secure the full status for 2013 she really wanted.
The two-time B.C. Junior champion closed the final stage of LPGA Tour qualifying school in Daytona Beach, Fla., with solid rounds of 70 on Saturday and 69 on Sunday to finish the 90-hole event at even par and tied for 32nd place.
Kim could have used 18 more holes to sneak into the top 20 and secure full status. She was certainly trending in the right direction.
But a disappointing opening round of four-over 76 ultimately was too much to overcome for the 21-year-old Walnut Grove secondary school graduate who grew up playing at Redwoods Golf Course.
"Of course, the top 20 was the goal, but the first day was a little too much for me," Kim said after her round Sunday. "I tried to improve every single round afterwards, but today I thought maybe I had a chance to get back to three- or four-under total because I was playing really well. I was getting better each day, but I just ran out of holes."
Two other Canadians did earn full status. Rebecca Lee-Bentham of Toronto shared medallist honours with Moriya Jutanugam of Thailand at 15-under par, while Stephanie Sherlock of Barrie, Ont., finished alone in 10th place at five-under.
It took a score of three-under or better to crack the top 20.
"My first round was a little rough, but I tried to grind it out right until the end," Kim said. "I played very steady today and made a few birdies. I sunk a couple of really long putts today and it really helped to have a caddie who was giving me confidence and double-checking every single shot and stuff like that."
The result likely means Kim will split her time next year on the LPGA and Symetra tours. Last year, Kim finished 23rd on the money list of the Symetra Tour, which is the official feeder circuit of the LPGA.
The LPGA Tour has not yet released its 2013 schedule. It had 27 official events in 2012, but some were not full-field tournaments. Kim must hope to play well in the early events she happens to draw into and look to improve her status through a reshuffle.
"I believe the LPGA has a reshuffle three times throughout the year, so if I can get into some early events and make some cuts I should get reshuffled into the fully exempt status category," she said. "I am going to try and play both tours to start the year and I will just hope for the best."
At the final stage of PGA Tour Q school in La Quinta, Calif., Abbotsford's Adam Hadwin fired his third straight four-under 68 Sunday and is tied for 55th place at 11-under heading into today's final round of the 108-hole competition.
Hadwin is four shots out of the top 25 and ties who will earn the 2013 PGA Tour cards after today's final round.
Merritt's Roger Sloan also made a big move Sunday, shooting a six-under 66 that moved him into a tie for 98th place at six-under. Sloan is in the hunt for one of the exempt spots on the Web.com Tour that will be handed out to the top 50 players that don't earn their PGA Tour cards.
Hadwin is already guaranteed full status on the Web.com Tour as a result of finishing inside the top 40 on that circuit's money list this year.
Ontario's Brad Fristch heads into today's final tied for 11th. Fritsch already has his PGA Tour status locked up by virtue of finishing 18th on the Web.com Tour money list this year and is at Q school attempting to improve his exempt position.
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