Led by former PNGA champion, NW players qualify for LPGA Tour
by Vinny Fiorino
Jennifer Ha of Calgary, Alta., who won the 2013 PNGA Women’s Amateur, was one of five Northwest players to qualify for the 2017 season on the LPGA Tour, some with full status and some with conditional status.
The LPGA Qualifying Tournament was held in early December on the Hills and Jones courses at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla., and was contested over five rounds (90 holes) of pressure-packed golf.
Here’s a brief outline of the five successful contestants.
Parks, who moved to Washington from North Carolina at an early age, learned the game from her dad when she was about nine years old. As a junior player, Parks received free golf at The Classic Golf Club in Spanaway, Wash. for helping out at the course on Sundays. (The Classic is the same course that PGA TOUR player Ryan Moore called home.) Parks went on to win the 2007 and 2008 Washington State 4A individual high school championships before moving on to play for the Washington Huskies women’s golf team, where she posted 17 top-25 finishes during her four-year career. Parks earned her LPGA Tour card for the 2015 season, making her just the fifth African-American to ever play on the LPGA Tour. Parks recently finished T3 at LPGA Q-School, giving her full LPGA Tour status for the 2017 season.
A native of Calgary, Alta. and winner of the 2013 PNGA Women’s Amateur, Ha had a successful collegiate career as a member of the Kent State University women’s golf team, being named to the All-MAC (Mid-American Conference) team each of the four years she played with the Golden Flashes. Ha earned full LPGA Tour status after a T8 finish at LPGA Q-School and will be one of 31 rookie golfers on the LPGA Tour next season.
Sheils, who hails from Boise, Idaho, won the 2009 and 2012 Idaho Golf Association Women’s Amateur State Championship. As a member of the University of Nebraska women’s golf team from 2009 to 2012, Sheils posted 11 top-10 finishes before starting her professional career by playing on the Symetra Tour, the developmental tour for the LPGA. Although she finished one stroke short of garnering full LPGA Tour Status for 2017, Sheils finished T21 at LPGA Q-School and will have partial LPGA Tour status for the first time ever after playing for four years on the Symetra Tour.
Inglis, a native of Eugene, Ore., attended the University of Oregon as a four-year member of the women’s golf team before graduating in 2016. Inglis fired a 7-under-par 65 in the second round of the 2016 NCAA Championships, held at Eugene Country Club, helping lead the Ducks to a T5 finish (best in school history) and giving her the women’s course record in the process. At LPGA Q-School, Inglis finished T44, giving her partial LPGA Tour status for the upcoming 2017 season.
Born in Hilo, Hawaii, Yada is one of the most successful women golfers to ever play at Portland State University. Yada holds a number of women’s records for the Vikings, including career rounds played, career scoring average and the 18-hole scoring record of 67, which she carded at the Big Sky Tournament (tying a record). After playing on the Symetra Tour for the last two seasons, Yada earned partial status on the LPGA Tour for the 2017 season by finishing T35 at LPGA Q-School.