Blumenherst starts with a bang

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Leading US amateur Amanda Blumenherst easily passed her first big test as a pro at the LPGA Q-school on Monday.

Leading US amateur Amanda Blumenherst easily passed her first big test as a professional at the LPGA Q-school on Monday.

The 2008 US Womens Amateur Champion shot a closing 4-under 68 to win top spot at the final qualifying event at the Champions Course at LPGA International and as such was one of the 20 players who earned their Tour cards for next year.

Blumenherst didn’t have a single bogey in the 90-hole event and finished at 9-under 351.

“It’s kind of a one-shot deal for the whole year,” said Blumenherst, who will clearly be a rookie to watch out for next season..

“I was confident in my game, but still, you never know what can happen. I just stayed in the fairway and got onto the greens and put my putts close. It was a winning combination.”

Fellow American Katie Kempter also posted a closing 68 to share second place with Norway’s Marianne Skarpnord (71).

Among those who needed to earn a card to regain a lost place on the LPGA Tour was Julieta Granada, who won the $1 million prize as a rookie at the season closing ADT Championship three years ago.

THE TOP 20 QUALIFIERS
(US unless stated)

1) Amanda Blumenherst
2) Katie Kempter
3) Marianne Skarpnord (Norway)
4) Julieta Granada (Paraguay)
5) Azahara Munoz (Spain)
6) Maria Hernandez (Spain)
7) Lisa Meldrum (Canada)
8) Nicole Jeray
9) Nicole Hage
10) Beatriz Recari
11) Leah Wigger
12) Mariajo Uribe (Colombia)
13) Tamie Durdin (Australia)
14) Lucy Kim
15) Iben Tinning (Denmark)
16) Gwladys Nocera (France)
17) Tania Elosegui (Spain)
18) Liz Janangelo
19) Pernilla Lindberg (Sweden)
20) Il Hee Lee (South Korea)

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