Aug. 26, 2016
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – Former South Carolina women’s golfer Sarah Schmelzel carded her second straight 67 (-5) to move atop the leaderboard and grab the 36-hole lead at Stage I of the 2016 LPGA Qualifying Tournament. The recent Gamecock graduate sits three shots clear of the field at 10-under (134) for the tournament.
Schmelzel, who ended round one of the 72-hole event in a tie for third following Thursday’s 5-under 67, has totaled 11 birdies through two days. The Phoenix, Ariz., native opened her week at the Arnold Palmer Course before continuing play Friday at the Gary Player Course. Stage I takes place over four days at two locations, with golfers in action at Mission Hills Country Club and Westin Mission Hills Resort.
“I’m embracing the pressure and the stress that everyone talks about,” Schmelzel said. “I’m so grateful to be out here playing, and I’m just trying to stay patient.”
Tomorrow, Schmelzel will be in action at the Dinah Shore course before the 54-hole cut is made. The top 90 players and ties, currently at 2-over (146), will advance to Stage II after final-round play at the Dinah Shore course on Sunday.
Stage II is set for Oct. 20-23 at Plantation Golf and Country Club in Venice, Fla., and the final stage takes place at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla., from Nov. 30-Dec. 4. The number of players to receive LPGA Tour membership will be determined after the completion of Stage III, and more information on the remaining schedule of the LPGA Qualifying Tournament can be found Here.
Schmelzel placed in a tie for 20th at the 2016 NCAA Championship and tallied three top-10 finishes in her senior season on the way to Golfweek All-America Honorable Mention accolades. Her 74.25 career stroke average ranks fourth in program history.