Confident Ardina opens bid for LPGA tour card
MANILA, Philippines - Dottie Ardina exudes confidence as she wrapped up her preparations for the LPGA Tour’s Final Qualifying Tournament beginning Thursday at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Florida, saying she’s in top shape and raring to start against a big field of 154 players battling for just 20 LPGA Tour cards.
“I think I can make it,” Ardina told The STAR. “I’ve been practicing the course for a long time now and I’ve been shooting under-par scores.”
But it will be an entirely different thing at gametime with a lot of factors and challenges to be considered. Yet, the former Team ICTSI mainstay and winner of a number of local and international titles remains confident of her chances in the grueling 90-hole tournament featuring North Dakota State standout Amy Anderson, who won the Stage II Qualifying in Venice, Florida by six strokes, and Cheyenne Woods, niece of world No. 1 Tiger Woods, who made headlines last year when she qualified for the US Women’s Open.
“I believe I have a big chance and I’m more confident now compared with my stints in the first two stages of the elims,” said Ardina.
“By this time, manhid na ako sa pressure. With my dad (Ed) as coach, we’re doing great,” she added.
Ardina easily hurdled the first stage at 24th at Rancho Mirage, California but barely made to the final phase with a joint 71st place in Venice.
This week’s field is well represented on a global scale, including 27 countries and 30 states. But only 20 qualifiers on Sunday will earn Category 12 status for the 2014 LPGA Tour while those who finish 21st through 45 and ties will earn membership in Category 17.
After 72 holes, the field will be cut to the low 70 players. All others who make the cut will receive Symetra Tour status.
Other top players in the fold are China’s youngest pro Xiyu Lin, who led the first round of Stage II LPGA Tour Qualifying Tournament; 15 members of the 2013 LPGA Tour Rookie class; and Stage I medalist Laura Gonzalez-Escallon from La Hupe, Belgium who was a standout on the Purdue University women’s golf team.
Ardina starts at 8:40 a.m. on No. 10 of the Hills Course in the company of Swede Caroline Westrup and local bet Victoria Tanco.