Nicole Smith Earns 2013 LPGA Tour Card


The dream of one day playing on the LPGA Tour became a reality today for the top-10 players on the season-ending money list in the 2012 Volvik Race for the Card.

This year’s Symetra Tour graduates are, in order of finish:
1. Esther Choe of Scottsdale, Ariz., $55,690
2. Paola Moreno of Cali, Colombia, $50,908
3. Victoria Elizabeth of Dayton, Ohio, $46,565
4. Thidapa Suwannapura of Bangkok, Thailand, $42,884
5. Daniela Iacobelli of Viera, Fla., $41,049
6. Mi Hyang Lee of Incheon, South Korea, $40,882
7. Jenny Gleason of Clearwater, Fla., $38,741
8. Julia Boland of Tamworth, NSW, Australia, $38,447
9. Nicole Smith of Riverside, Calif., $38,004
10. Sara Maude-Juneau of Quebec, Canada, $37,632.

The race began at the season-opening Florida’s Natural Charity Classic and concluded at this week’s Daytona Beach Invitational Presented by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. During the 16 events on this year’s schedule, players jockeyed for position all with hopes of landing inside the top-10 today.

This year marked the first year since the Race for the Card was implemented in 1999 that 10 players received fully exempt LPGA Tour cards for next year. From 1999 to 2002, three exemptions were awarded and from 2007-2011, 10 LPGA memberships were awarded with only the top-5 earning fully exempt status.

Also today, the next 10 players on the Tour’s money list who do not already have LPGA Tour status, earned automatic entry into Stage III of the LPGA Qualifying Tournament. The tournament will take place at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla., set for November 28th-December 2nd. Those players, include; Sara Brown of Tucson, Ariz., Jaclyn Sweeney of Bradenton, Fla., Leah Wigger of Louisville, Ky., Jean Chua of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Olivia Jordan-Higgins of Jersey, Channel Islands UK, Megan McChrystal of Stuart, Fla., Kristie Smith of Perth, Australia, Misun Cho of Cheongju, South Korea, Lauren Doughtie of Suffolk, Va., and Hannah Jun of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

Congratulations, Nicole! See you on the big stage.

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