To pick up where we left off last month, Jaclyn Lee, Rio Watanabe, Katja Pogacar advanced to the Stage II of the Symetra/LPGA Tours Qualifying event. This was conducted this week in Venice Florida with 193 aspiring professional golfers trying to qualify for LPGA playing status.

Katja and Jaclyn made the cut to advance the October 24th (and hopefully thereafter) segment at Pinehurst #7 course. Although the more stringent requirement was “Top -25 and ties”, the overall field the LPGA set for Pinehurst ended up being 102 golfers. With 61 players (LPGA/Symetra) already exempt, the Venice. FL event allowed for  few more players to qualify – 41 to be exact. To have made this cut to advance, a player had to have scored par or better.

The tournament was played on two courses, the Panther Course and the Bobcat Course. The players played each of the courses twice.


Katja had rounds of 72-67-74-72-285 (-3) to finish in a tie for 13th place. Katja began her first round on the back nine, and through 17 holes, based on 2 birdies and 15 pars, she was -2. She finished with a double bogey on her final hole to finish the day at level par. That had to have been annoying as hell. Four hours of very good golf undone by 15 minutes.

Her second round was a masterpiece with Katja scoring 5 birdies and 13 pars. Her third round was a little bumpy with a front nine of +2, but she played a very solid back nine in level par. In her final round, Katja was +2 through 14 holes, but finished strongly by birdieing two of her last four holes to finish the round at level par.

Katja’s second round 67 tied for the low score of the second round. It also tied for 3rd best score of the event. Well done. Katja played the Panther Course in +2 and the Bobcat Course in -5.


Jaclyn had rounds of 70-73-70-72-285 (-3) to also finish in a tie for 13th place. Jaclyn opened on the Panther Course and was +1 at the turn and +2 through twelve holes. She went on a tear with four consecutive birdies to get her round to 70 (-2). Nice recovery.

Jaclyn’s second round was more sedate with 1 birdie, 2 bogeys and 15 pars for a solid 73 (+1). In her third round, Jaclyn picked up where she left off with 16 pars and 2 birdies for a well played 70 (-2). In her final round, Jaclyn was +2 on the round through 12 holes, before making birdies on 2 of her closing 5 holes for  a 72 (E).

In four rounds, Jaclyn had no score higher than a bogey. No need to give back strokes to par in bunches. Jaclyn played the Panther Course in -4 and the Bobcat Course in +1.


Rio didn’t bring her “A” game. Rio had rounds of 76-73-79-79-307 (+19). After her first two rounds, she sat at +5 and was in reasonably good position. Her 3rd round 79 (+7) pretty much killed any chances she had to advance. Her final round of 79 (+7) was just a formality.

It looked like the situation was “Rio being Rio”. At Ohio State, I thought Rio was a ‘high variance’ golfer. She had stretches of play where no one one the course was better. She also had stretches where she played like I do. She just needs to eliminate those stretches.

Rio played the Panther Course in +11 and the Bobcat Course in +8.

Up Next

As mentioned above, the Stage II of the Q-School will take place October 22 – November 3rd in Pinehurst, NC. I’ll keep you updated as this progresses.