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LPGA: Korean pro on dream run

By BETH ANN BALDRY
Senior Writer

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Hee Young Park is one of two KLPGA pros vying for a card this week, a smaller number than recent years. There are 16 Koreans in the field but only Hee Young Park and Na Yeon Choi compete regularly on their home tour. As the KLPGA’s tournament schedule strengthens, more Korean players are starting to see the benefits of staying close to home.

Park, however, put in her mandatory two years on the KLPGA and came to Q-School as soon as she was eligible. So far her dream seems within reach after carding a 5-under 67 over the Legends Course Nov. 29 to finish the second round tied for third. Choi followed her 68 with a 74 and sits tied for 14th.

Jane Park continues to set the pace after two rounds, shooting 65-70 to hold a three-shot lead. Tracy Hanson carded the day’s low round (66) to tie Park at 5-under 139.

Missing from this year’s field is Ji Yai Shin, the KLPGA hotshot who won nine times on tour this year and was in contention at the U.S. Women’s Open. Shin and her family aren’t ready to leave Korea, where she’s considered the next Se Ri Pak. Her father, a minister who caddies every day but Sunday, isn’t a big fan of American food or travelling.

As for Park, she can’t wait to begin a new life in the U.S. She hired a tutor last year to teach her English and can conduct interviews with very little help. She loves American fans, the practice facilities and even the food.

“I’ve prepared the whole year for this week,” said Park, who was No. 2 on the money list to Shin. “It’s very important for my life.”

Down-under wonders: Amy Yang, the youngest winner in Ladies European Tour history, is making her first attempt at LPGA Q-School, just two weeks after she graduated high school. She’s T-45 at 1-over 145 (72-73).

If she doesn’t earn her LPGA card, the 18-year-old is exempt on the LET until 2009 thanks to her victory at the 2006 ANZ Ladies Masters. She won that tournament as a 16-year-old amateur.

Yang was also the low amateur at the 2006 Weetabix Women’s British Open and made the cut in this year’s U.S. Women’s Open.

On the flip side, Nikki Garrett, the Aussie who struck the historic first shot at St. Andrews this summer at the Ricoh Women’s British Open, had a rough time Thursday over the more demanding Legends Course. Garrett followed her opening 2-under 70 with an 83 to fall to a tie for 117th.

What you need to know: Seventeen cards are up for grabs this week. In the event of a tie on Sunday, a three-hole playoff will commence over Nos. 9, 10 and 18 at the Legends Course. If players are still tied after three holes, a sudden-death playoff will begin rotating between Nos. 10 and 18.

On the upswing: Kelli Kuehne followed up her first-round 67 with a 1-under 71 to remain in second place, a surprising turnaround considering she missed 11 cuts and made only $46,191 in 19 starts this year.

“I’ve been on a mission the past seven weeks to get ready,” Kuehne said.

Kuehne also credited her good play to having longtime instructor Tracy Phillips on the bag this week.

He’s taught Kuehne for 17 years, but also caddied for her in 1999, when she won her only LPGA title, and 2000.

“He caddied for me when I won the (1994 U.S. Girls’ Junior),” she said. “That’s how far we go back.”

Quote of the day: “I like to dress up,” – LPGA caddie Thomas Frank, aka “Motion,” on his penchant for wearing ties to work.

• • •

Beth Ann Baldry is a Golfweek senior writer. To reach her e-mail bbaldry@golfweek.com.

Sean Martin contributed.

Scores with relation to par from the secondround of LPGA Q-School, played Nov. 29 at LPGA International's par-72Legends Course and par-72 Champions Course in Daytona Beach, Fla.(Note: a-amateur; top 17 players earn fully exempt status, next 35 andties earn non-exempt status):

1. Jane Park 65-70—135

-9 2. Kelli Kuehne 67-71—138

-6 3. Hee Young Park 72-67—139

-5 3. Tracy Hanson 73-66—139

-5 5. Sarah Lynn Sargent 69-71—140

-4 5. Carolina Llano 69-71—140

-4 5. Meredith Duncan 69-71—140

-4 5. Hannah Jun 73-67—140

-4 5. Ashleigh Simon 70-70—140

-4 10. Hwan Hee Lee 70-71—141

-3 10. Russy Gulyanamitta 69-72—141

-3 10. Sarah Kemp 71-70—141

-3 10. Liz Janangelo 70-71—141

-3 14. Su A Kim 70-72—142

-2 14. Beth Allen 71-71—142

-2 14. Anja Monke 72-70—142

-2 14. Na Yeon Choi 68-74—142

-2 14. Jacqueline Yang 69-73—142

-2 14. Anna Grzebien 70-72—142

-2 14. Cindy Pasechnik 73-69—142

-2 14. Sofie Andersson 73-69—142

-2 14. Song Hee Kim 74-68—142

-2 14. Amie Cochran 72-70—142

-2 14. Sophie Giquel 72-70—142

-2 14. Emma Cabrera-Bello 73-69—142

-2 26. V. Nirapathpongporn 71-72—143

-1 26. Nicole Hage 71-72—143

-1 26. Christina Lecuyer 71-72—143

-1 26. Sukjin Lee Wuesthoff 69-74—143

-1 26. Yani Tseng 70-73—143

-1 26. Maru Martinez 72-71—143

-1 26. Eileen Vargas 73-70—143

-1 26. Becky Lucidi 72-71—143

-1 26. May Wood 72-71—143

-1 26. Danielle Downey 72-71—143

-1 36. Jamie Hullett 71-73—144

E 36. Louise Friberg 71-73—144

E 36. Adrienne White 70-74—144

E 36. Clarissa Childs 71-73—144

E 36. a-Shanshan Feng 72-72—144

E 36. Nontaya Srisawang 73-71—144

E 36. Taylor Leon 73-71—144

E 36. Sarah-Jane Kenyon 73-71—144

E 36. Nina Reis 73-71—144

E 45. Anna Rawson 72-73—145
+ 1 45. Angela Jerman 72-73—145
+ 1 45. Eun Jung Yi 73-72—145
+ 1 45. Hana Kim 71-74—145
+ 1 45. Leah Wigger 72-73—145
+ 1 45. Amy Yang 72-73—145
+ 1 45. Jennifer Gleason 73-72—145
+ 1 45. Nicole Jeray 74-71—145
+ 1 45. Chris Brady 75-70—145
+ 1 45. Brandi Jackson 77-68—145
+ 1 45. A. Hanna-Williams 74-71—145
+ 1 45. L. Walker-Cooper 74-71—145
+ 1 45. O. Sattayabanphot 74-71—145
+ 1 58. Rachel Bailey 72-74—146
+ 2 58. Kristina Tucker 70-76—146
+ 2 58. Sarah Oh 70-76—146
+ 2 58. Janell Howland 74-72—146
+ 2 58. a-Sandra Gal 76-70—146
+ 2 58. Michelle Ellis 75-71—146
+ 2 58. Lauren Espinosa 75-71—146
+ 2 65. Misun Cho 73-74—147
+ 3 65. Kim Williams 74-73—147
+ 3 65. Kelly Cap 74-73—147
+ 3 65. Jennifer Greggain 73-74—147
+ 3 65. Jeanne Cho-Hunicke 71-76—147
+ 3 65. Simi Mehra 73-74—147
+ 3 65. Samantha Head 73-74—147
+ 3 65. Louise Stahle 75-72—147
+ 3 65. Paula Marti 75-72—147
+ 3 65. Kelly Lagedrost 76-71—147
+ 3 65. Na Ri Kim 74-73—147
+ 3 65. Kristen Samp 74-73—147
+ 3 65. Audra Burks 74-73—147
+ 3 65. Lisa Fernandes 74-73—147
+ 3 79. Sarah Huarte 74-74—148
+ 4 79. Hana Chae 76-72—148
+ 4 79. Jimin Jeong 74-74—148
+ 4 79. Mandy Goins 73-75—148
+ 4 79. a-Kristie Smith 74-74—148
+ 4 79. Jean Bartholomew 76-72—148
+ 4 79. Tiffany Tavee 77-71—148
+ 4 79. LeAnna Wicks 77-71—148
+ 4 79. Song Choi 77-71—148
+ 4 79. Mo Martin 77-71—148
+ 4 79. Anastasia Kostina 77-71—148
+ 4 90. Jennifer Ackerson 74-75—149
+ 5 90. Catherine Matranga 74-75—149
+ 5 90. Yeon Joo Lee 74-75—149
+ 5 90. Christi Cano 71-78—149
+ 5 90. Hanna Kang 73-76—149
+ 5 90. Irene Cho 73-76—149
+ 5 90. Paige Mackenzie 75-74—149
+ 5 90. Ashley Prange 76-73—149
+ 5 90. Sophia Sheridan 76-73—149
+ 5 90. Dana Je 77-72—149
+ 5 90. Lori Atsedes 75-74—149
+ 5 90. Isabelle Beisiegel 76-73—149
+ 5 90. Kim Welch 76-73—149
+ 5 103. Whitney Wade 75-75—150
+ 6 103. A.J. Eathorne 73-77—150
+ 6 103. Riko Higashio 76-74—150
+ 6 103. D'Rae Ward 78-72—150
+ 6 103. Siew-Ai Lim 76-74—150
+ 6 108. Jin Y. Pak 76-75—151
+ 7 108. Annie Young 79-72—151
+ 7 110. Sae Hee Son 75-77—152
+ 8 110. Brooke Tull 74-78—152
+ 8 110. Celeste Troche 74-78—152
+ 8 110. Angie Hill 76-76—152
+ 8 110. Shinah Ham 81-71—152
+ 8 110. Ashley Gomes 78-74—152
+ 8 110. Joanne Morley 76-76—152
+ 8 117. Pornanong Phatlum 75-78—153
+ 9 117. Vikki Laing 76-77—153
+ 9 117. Nikki Garrett 70-83—153
+ 9 117. Leah Hart 74-79—153
+ 9 117. Lisa Ferrero 79-74—153
+ 9 117. Shayna Miyajima 80-73—153
+ 9 117. Michelle Simpson 76-77—153
+ 9 117. Beth Bauer 76-77—153
+ 9 125. a-Manuela Tarazona 78-76—154
+ 10 126. Jin Hyun Kim 77-78—155
+ 11 126. Lee-Anne Pace 81-74—155
+ 11 128. Caryn Wilson 76-80—156
+ 12 128. Vanessa Brockett 79-77—156
+ 12 128. Danah Ford 81-75—156
+ 12 131. Caroline Larsson 76-81—157
+ 13 131. Kiran Matharu 83-74—157
+ 13 133. P. Baxter-Johnson 79-79—158
+ 14 134. Diane Irvin 83-76—159
+ 15 135. Natalie Tucker 79-81—160
+ 16

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