DAYTONA BEACH, FLA, December 4, 2016 – Jaye Marie Green (Boca Raton, Florida) buried a 20-footer on the 90th hole to earn medalist honors at Final Stage of LPGA Qualifying Tournament with a five-day score of 13-under, 347. Green carded a 2-over, 74 on Sunday to win by one shot over Olafia Kristinsdottir (Reykjavik, Iceland) to earn full LPGA Tour status.
While three of the top four finishers are from the USA, a total of 13 different countries (USA, Iceland, Korea, Taiwan, Denmark, Canada, England, Spain, Israel, Sweden, Philippines, Japan and Thailand) are represented amongst the players that finished in the top 20 to earn category 12 status on the LPGA Tour for 2017. Further, four teenagers finished in the top 20 (Nasa Hataoka, Maria Parra, Angel Yin and Ssu Chia Cheng).
Green, who also won Final Stage of LPGA Qualifying Tournament in 2013 with a record score of 29-under, is the first player since the event moved to Daytona Beach in 1991 to win Final Stage twice.
“I feel really good about it and the weeks leading up I wasn’t really that nervous which is weird,” said Green. “I was really laid back this week and I felt like I was picking up where I left off from three years ago.”
Green and Kristinsdottir were tied heading to the 18th hole and Green made a bet with her brother and caddy, Matt, in the fairway. The stakes were simple. If they made birdie and won, Jaye would pay Matt $1,000.
“I definitely wanted to win, I think that was a good goal for me,” said Green. “I did not play well so to have a putt to win was great. I felt like a kid on the putting green thinking about a putt to win and I got that oh my gosh feeling. When I saw it going dead center I was like ‘oh my gosh’ I did it and I had to fist pump when I never do. I think he is more excited about the $1,000 than the fact that I am going to the LPGA.”
Green, who finished 112th on the LPGA money list this year, said that this result will give her renewed confidence into 2017.
“I couldn’t really find the reason why I needed to go back to Q-School,” said Green about her lack of confidence. “I knew I had to play well to get my card and now I know that I can make a putt to win so there are a lot of positives to take away. Now I know I can play well under the gun. Going into next year, I have this experience to draw on.”
Kristinsdottir, who had the largest galleries all week of Icelanders, carded a 1-over, 73 to earn a spot on the LPGA.
“It is a relief being done with the round and I’m so happy and really happy to be Icelandic,” said Kristinsdottir. “There are so many people out here and this is so awesome, I can’t even describe it.”
Kristinsdottir played college golf at Wake Forest and was a rookie on the Ladies European Tour in 2016.
“Since I was a kid, I dreamed of reaching this level and now I have,” said Kristinsdottir, who will be the first player from Iceland on the LPGA. “It’s just incredible.”
When asked what Americans should know about golf in Iceland, Kristinsdottir talked about the Arctic Open, a famous tournament that starts at midnight in the summer.
“Everybody should come and play, it is awesome and really popular,” said Kristinsdottir. “We have like 65 golf courses in Iceland and we’re always ready for more tourists.”
Angel Yin (Arcadia, Calif.) and Sadena Parks (Scottsdale, Ariz.) finished in a tie for third at 11-under, 349. JeongEun Lee (Seoul, South Korea) finished fifth at 10-under, 350.
Pavarisa Yoktuan (Nakhonsrithammarat, Thailand) and Karen Chung (Livingston, N.J.) tied for 19th at 4-under, 356 to earn LPGA status. There was no playoff for the final spots in category 12.
There will be 31 rookies on the LPGA Tour next year: Aditi Ashok, Brittany Benvenuto, Celine Boutier, Nicole Broch Larsen, Hannah Burke, Karen Chung, Jenny Coleman, Emily Collins, Daniela Darquea, Regan De Guzman, Justine Dreher, Allyssa Ferrell, Jennifer Ha, Nasa Hataoka, Caroline Inglis, Augusta James, Lauren Kim, Min-G Kim, Olafia Kristinsdottir, Bronte Law, Maria Parra, Emily Pedersen, Katherine Perry, Krista Puisite, Mel Reid, Madeleine Sheils, Mariah Stackhouse, Jessy Tang, Emily Tubert, Britney Yada and Angel Yin.