Daytona Beach, FL – Junthima Gulyanamitta carded her second under 68 Sunday to come from behind and win medalist honors at the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament.
Gulyanamitta has played just two LPGA Tour events in her career, the 2010 and 2011 U.S. Women's Opens. She ended the five-round marathon at 10-under 350.
Christine Song, who had the lead after the first four rounds, closed with a 74 to take second place at minus-eight. Jennie Lee shot a 72 and took third at four-under-par 356.
Dori Carter (68), Jodi Ewart (70) and Karlin Beck (69) shared fourth place at minus-three and were the final players in red figures.
Forty-one players earned at least partial status on the LPGA Tour for 2012, while the top 20 will be fully exempt.
Meredith Duncan birdied 17 then holed out for eagle on 18 to jump into a share of ninth. If she had gone par-par, Duncan would have only had partial status next year.
Jacqui Concolino had the fate of eight other golfers in her hands on the par- five 18th. If she had made birdie or eagle, only she would have been fully exempt status next year.
Instead, she made par to force a nine-way playoff for the last fully exempt spot. Lizette Salas came out of a group that included Sophia Sheridan, Min Seo Kwak, Stephanie Sherlock, Paola Moreno, Veronica Felibert, Danah Ford Bordner, Lacey Agnew and Concolino to get the last fully exempt spot. The eight others will be partially exempt in 2012.
The final round was contested on the Champions Course at LPGA International. The first four rounds had rotated over the Champions and Legends Courses.
Song started the day with a four-stroke lead over Gulyanamitta, but that cushion was gone by the eighth hole. Song dropped shots at five and eight, while Gulyanamitta had birdies on three and five.
Gulyanamitta moved two clear as there was a two-stroke swing on the 10th. where she rolled in a birdie effort and Song tripped to a bogey. However, Gulyanamitta faltered to a double-bogey at 12 to create a share of the lead.
Gulyanamitta came right back with birdies on 13 and 14 to move two ahead.
Song got within one with a birdie on 15. She stumbled to a bogey at 16, then both players birdied the par-five 18th.
These were the other players that earned fully exempt status for 2012: Maude- Aimee LeBlanc, Sandra Changkija, Duncan, Minea Blomqvist, Stephanie Kono, Cydney Clanton, Angela Oh, Rebecca Lee-Bentham, Elisa Serramia, Tanya Dergal, Ayaka Kaneko, Victoria Tanco and Hannah Yun.
Kono and Tanco both played the tournament as amateurs, but turned professional after Q School ended.
Among those that climbed inside the top 40 and gained partial status for 2012 were 2005 U.S. Women's Open champ Birdie Kim (69) and Izzy Beisiegel (72), who both finished tied for 34th at plus-eight.
Beisiegel, who is from Montreal, played five Canadian Tour events in 2011 and missed the cut in all five. Her only LPGA Tour start was at the Canadian Women's Open, where she again missed the cut.
NOTES: There were four players that dropped out of the top-40 in the final round: Lili Alvarez, Paz Echeverria, Jean Reynolds and Jaclyn Sweeney...This was the final LPGA Tour event of 2011.