Stephanie Meadow to tee off at Daytona Beach, Florida

Stephanie Meadow at last year's US Women's Open
Tony McGee

US-based Stephanie Meadow returns to Daytona Beach, Florida, tomorrow to play in the LPGA Qualifying Tournament Stage III where she gained her conditional status last year.

No doubt, memories of her efforts there, 12 months ago, are still fresh in her mind.

At her first attempt in securing her LPGA Tour Card, the former Royal Portrush amateur lost out in a marathon play-off along with six other players, with just three cards available.

At the 11th play-off hole, Meadow lost to Karen Beck but earned Category 17, Conditional Status.

Earlier this year, Stephanie took a step back from golf when her father, Robert, was diagnosed with cancer as she wanted to spend more time with him.

He, unfortunately, died in May and later she returned to competing in golf.

Because of her situation and her utter determination to rebuild her pro life, she was, a fortnight ago, awarded the Heather Farr Perseverance Award which is voted on by her professional colleagues.

Meadow, who had no hesitation in declaring for Ireland in the Olympic Games, will compete for 20 places amongst a field of 158 other hopefuls, at Daytona Beach over the next few days.

Players who finish in the top 20 will earn membership through Category 12 on the LPGA Tour priority list, while those who finish 21 through to 45 with earn membership through Category 17.

That mean players who finish in the top 20 will have full-time status on the LPGA Tour, while the Category 17 members will have conditional status and must wait for an available place in the tournaments.


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