Two rookie players in field
Hilary Homeyer and Giulia Sergas gained the two open berths, while Alexandra Casi of East Palestine faltered.
By PETE MOLLICA
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
VIENNA -- A couple of LPGA Tour rookies earned their way into the 2002 Giant Eagle LPGA Classic Monday at Squaw Creek Country Club.
Hilary Homeyer of Edina, Minn., and Giulia Sergas of Trieste, Italy, each shot a 1-under-par 71 to capture the two open berths in the qualifying tournament.
While Homeyer and Sergas will be playing in the tournament beginning on Friday, two amateur hopefuls went away slightly disappointed.
Aree Song Wongluekiet failed to earn a berth, shooting a 1-over 73.
Her twin sister Naree will play in the tournament on a sponsors exemption. Both are ranked among the top 10 amateurs in the country.
Casi gives it a try
The other amateur in the 13-player field was 17-year-old standout Alexandra Casi of East Palestine.
A standout in golf and track and field at East Palestine High the last four years, Casi got her first real taste of professional golf and it got the best of her.
Casi, who will attend the University of Maryland this fall on a golf scholarship, shot an 8-over 80 and finished tied for 11th.
Sergas, who tied for 31st at the LPGA Qualifying school last fall to earn non-exempt status, shot 2-under 35 over the front nine holes and was 1-over 36 on the back nine.
"I liked the golf course, it was in beautiful shape, but I missed a couple of putts or it could have been better," Sergas said.
Played for Stanford
Homeyer, who resides in Palo Alto, Calif., also tied for 31st at the LPGA Qualifying school and is a non-exempt player. She was a four-time All-American at Stanford University.
"I really liked this layout and the golf course, although not that difficult really makes you think out there," she said.
She had four birdies on her round, but also had a bogey and a double bogey.
"I made double [bogey] on the third hole," she added. "I didn't know the course that well and hit a 7-wood off the tee and got it a little left and it went into the water. The green there is no picnic, either, as I three putted."
Wongluekiet wasn't disappointed with her play, but felt her score could have been much better.
"I didn't hit it as good as I've been hitting it, but the golf course was in great shape and it was fun to play," she said.
"I'll be around here all week regardless since my entire family is here," she added. "It is a lot of fun traveling around the country and playing golf."
The 16-year-old Wongluekiets reside in Bradenton, Fla., where they will be high school seniors in the fall.
Wongluekiet tied for third place in the qualifier with Pamela Wright, who made 16 straight pars before making bogey at 17.
Tying for fifth place at 2-over 74 were Jean Zedlitz and Nicole Dalkas, while Kim Shipman shot 75, Angie Rizzo and Faith Egli each had 78, Jill Gomric a 79, while Casi and Nancy Brophy each shot 80 and Becky O'Hara finished with 83.