Making it through the three grueling stages of LPGA Qualifying tournaments is not an easy feat, but on Sunday former Mississippi State All-American Ally McDonald did just that en route to earning Category 17 status.
In the 90-hole tournament, she shot a total of 357 to finished tied for 22th.
A total of 157 players in the field competed for LPGA Tour membership in category 12 and 17 on the 2016 LPGA priority list.
The Top 20 finishers (no ties) following Sunday’s round earned Category 12 membership while players who finish 21-45 plus ties earned membership through Category 17.
With her Category 17 status, McDonald, also a volunteer coach for the MSU’s women’s team, will play a mixture of LPGA and Symetra Tour events.
In layman’s terms, the Top 20 finishers will have “full” LPGA membership while those that finish 21-45 will have “conditional” status. For perspective, Alison Lee and Minjee Lee, who shared medalist honors in 2014, played in 23 and 29 LPGA events, respectively in 2015. Minjee finished 16th on the official LPGA money list with a win at the Kingsmill Championship while Alison finished 23rd on the money list with six Top 10 results. Julie Yang, who finished T21 at 2014 Final Stage, made 12 starts on the LPGA in 2015.
“It being my first time I didn’t really know what to expect,” McDonald admitted. “I knew that everybody out here was going to be grinding really hard because everyone wants to be in that Top 20.”
McDonald quickly caught on and played well in every round, shooting 74,70,70,73,and 70 for five rounds.
“Ally has attained, through an emotional and physically draining week, an elite status of an LPGA member,” MSU coach Ginger Borwn-Lemm said. “Our volunteer coach continues to represent our core values of discipline, attitude, will, gratitude and selfless with all she’s got. We couldn’t be more proud of her.”
(From MSU Media Relations)