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FORMER GATOR MARIA TORRES EARNS LPGA CARD

Torres first Puerto Rican player to earn full-time status on the Tour

By Andrew Kovar | Sunday, December 3, 2017

Former Gator Maria Torres earned full-time status on the LPGA Tour Sunday after finishing in the top 20 in qualifying.

After birding the 18th hole of fifth round, Torres worked her way into a three-hole playoff with Mind Muangkhumsakul and Daniela Darquea. After all three pared the ninth, a birdie on the 10th gave Torres the lead.

Heading into the 18th and final hole, all Torres needed was a tap in to earn her place on the Tour. She made it to join 19 others who qualified for next year’s Tour on Sunday.

“I am in shock, that’s all I can say.,” Torres said. “I can not believe it, but it’s just a dream come true. It’s a step to enter the LPGA and get to play, and then turning pro right before the playoff was interesting too.”

Torres, who was a two-time All-American during her time as a Gator and 2016 SEC Individual Champion, becomes the first Puerto Rican born player to earn full-time status on the LPGA Tour. She will join Sandra Gal as the second Florida player currently on the Tour.

“I can’t think of anyone more deserving than Maria,” Florida head coach Emily Glaser said. “Her work ethic is exceptional, better than most. She has a competitive nature that is rare and special.  And the toughness she has built over the last four years has prepared her for this day. We are all excited to see her continue to grow and blossom into an outstanding professional golfer. We are proud of all our Gators this week.  I wish I could find the words to express what a grueling and difficult tournament Q-school is. The pressure is paramount. I’m sure every player took something away from this week that will help them on their professional journey. They have a lot to look forward to.”