Zhu Advances At LPGA Qualifying School
Cal senior Katherine Zhu shot a 3-over par at Stage I of the 2021 LPGA Qualifying School last weekend, making the cut to advance to Stage II qualifying in October.
Zhu, who has led the Golden Bears in scoring average in each of the past two seasons, finished in a tie for 85th place in the 336-golfer field. The top 95 and ties advanced from the tournament, which took place at multiple courses in the Palm Springs area.
"This year was more of a practice year," Zhu said. "I didn't have any expectations. It's not do or die for me. Because of that, I didn't put as much pressure on myself. I'm looking forward to going back to school with a somewhat normal schedule again. There are some good things to look forward to."
Zhu hasn't decided if she will participate in the Stage II qualifying, which is scheduled to take place Oct. 21-24 in Plantation, Florida.
"I think it was a good plan of Katherine's to test the waters," Cal head coach Nancy McDaniel said. "She pursued her curiosity around it. With each step, that's going to give her more feedback on moving forward on being on the LPGA Tour or not. She did some fact finding and went into it with her eyes wide open."
Zhu was one of 50 amateurs entered into the field and 35 who advanced. After shooting a 3-over par 75 in the first round, she put together back-to-back rounds at 1-under before carding a 2-over 74 on the final day.
"It definitely gave me a bit of a boost in confidence just because some of the tournaments I played this summer, I wasn't able to perform at the ability I know I can," Zhu said. "Having the opportunity to compete at a high level and being able to play decently will definitely help me get back to where I know I can be."
Maria Herraez Galvez, a 2020 Cal graduate, just missed the cut after carding a 4-over par for the tournament. Incoming freshman Jieming Yang also missed the cut after shooting 11-over par.
The Bears open the season Sept. 13-14 at the Dick McGuire Invitational at the University of New Mexico.