Cyna Rodriguez nails LPGA Tour berth
Cyna Rodriguez has fulfilled a childhood dream, and the tougher task of living it now starts.
The 24-year-old Rodriguez on Sunday (Monday in Manila) broke into the LPGA with ease, finishing in a fourth-place tie in Qualifying School to become the first Filipino to make the Tour since 2000, when Jennifer Rosales clinched her own spot.
“It’s a dream come true,” said Rodriguez, the former PH Ladies Am champion and three-time Order of Merit winner on the local Ladies Philippine Golf Tour.
She closed out with a one-under-par 71 for a 10-under 350 total in the 90-hole qualifying topped by China’s Feng Simin with 342 at the LPGA International Hills Course in Florida.
“I really cried, my heart fell with happiness,” Rodriguez was quoted by mom Cherry, to whom Cyna first broke the good news on Monday morning. “I want you to watch me in my first (LPGA) tournament.”
Rodriguez, coached by Bong Lopez and supported by golf patron Ricky Razon’s ICTSI, first picked up a golf club when she was 9, or just about the same time when two-time winner Rosales made her way into the LPGA.
A victory in the Callaway Junior World Championship in the 13-14 class five years later made her start dreaming of making the circuit someday.
By finishing in the Top 20, Rodriguez will have full exempt status in the LPGA for the next two years, meaning she can play in all tournaments, including the majors if she progresses in the rankings.
“I have to earn enough money to keep my card,” said Cherry, quoting her only daughter with husband Eli.
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