Two Former Lady Tigers Qualify for the LPGA Tour
BATON ROUGE — Meredith Duncan and Ashley Winn could arguably be called two of the best to ever play for the LSU women’s golf team.
Certainly, they helped lead the LSU teams of 1996-2002 to five NCAA Division I championship appearances (including four top 10 finishes), nine team titles and the two each have three individual college titles. Duncan also was a master of the summer match play championships, winning two Western Women’s titles and most importantly, the United States Women’s Amateur title in 2001.
Starting in 2004, they will take their games to the ultimate level of women’s golf, the Ladies Professional Golfers Association tour, after finishing in the top 28 of the Q-school Friday at the LPGA International Legends Course in Daytona Beach, Fla.
While Winn was comfortably within the number all event long after an opening round of 69, Duncan’s story was more compelling.
Playing just one month after the death of her father David, Duncan was outside the third-round cut number of the top 70 and ties after opening with rounds of 73-75. But as she did when she finished seventh in the 2000 NCAAs after an opening 82 and as she did in the regional Q-school qualifying when she finished with 69 to secure her position, the Shreveport native stepped it up in the final two rounds, shooting 69 in the third round to make the cut and move to 40th place.
But there was more magic in the Duncan bag that her late father carried as caddy to some of her most important wins to date. Duncan threw a tournament best round of seven-under par 65 to move all the way to a tie for fifth, easily earning the card and also getting a check for $3,335. Duncan finished 72 holes at six-under par 282 (73-75-69-65).
“I’m so excited,” Duncan said. “I was stroking it really well (Thursday) and (Friday). I knew if I kept giving myself changes, some would go in. I just wanted to relax and play. I wasn’t trying to shoot a certain number. With me, the more I try to make it happen, the more it’s not going to happen. Finally, I just relaxed. This year on the Futures Tour I tried to make it happen instead of letting it happen – just teeing it up and hitting’ it. Tee it up, go find it and go hit it again.”
Winn earned non-exempt status on the LPGA tour at the 2002 qualifying school and was able to articipate in seven events, earning just over $6,000. This will make her exempt into every full field tournament in her fourth attempt to qualify for the big tour.
The West Monroe native, part of LSU’s famed “Three Amigas” recruiting class of 1995, posted rounds of 69-73-70-71 to finish at 283, five under par. Winn, who easily qualified for her card, also cashed a check for $1,280.