DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Former LSU golfer and 2011 NCAA individual champion Austin Ernst earned 2013 LPGA status on Sunday at LPGA Qualifying School, finishing tied for 11th in the 90-hole competition.
Ernst, who left LSU after her sophomore season and turned pro following the second stage of qualifying, birdied the 90th hole of the tournament to finish with a final round of 70 and a five-day total of 4-under par 356 (70-71-74-71-70). That birdie assured her of a tie for 11th place finish where only the top 20 without ties would earn what is known as LPGA Status 12 in their list of categories for tournament entries.
Without the birdie, Ernst, from Seneca, S.C., would have probably been in what eventually was a seven-player spot for four top qualifying cards.
Ernst cashes her first professional check in the Q-School for $1,925.
Players who finished 21-45 and ties were able to earn LPGA Status 17 and just missing a chance to improve her status was former All-American Katy Harris. Harris finished the 90 holes at 2-over 362 (73-73-75-70-71) to finish in 49th place, just one shot shy of qualifying for the tour status.
Former U.S. Women's Amateur champion Meredith Duncan and All-American Megan McChrystal missed the 72-hole cut after Saturday's fourth round.