Crisis averted! Pro-Am tee time fiasco nearly leads to lost LPGA Tour card
Ever have a nightmare where you’re running hopelessly late for a critical life event? That must have been what aspiring LPGA Tour pro Mind Muangkhumsakul, hanging on to the last spot to secure her card, was feeling as she rushed to her Wednesday pro-am tee time at the Symetra Tour Championship.
Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols reports that Muangkhumsakul thought the pro-am began at 9 a.m. Instead, she was an hour off. In reality, the 8 a.m. start got pushed to 8:17 a.m., but Muangkhumsakul arrived just minutes too late to catch her group. Had she joined her original group before they’d teed off on the second hole, she’d have faced a $500 fine. Instead, she was DQ’d from the season finale and was forced to wait around and watch to see if any competitors would bump her from the top 10 who get promotions.
In the end, Muangkhumsakul finished with a season total of $81,045, a comfortable $10,176 ahead of South Korea’s Min Seo Kwak, who finished No. 11.
This is hardly the first time a pro missing a pro-am tee time has made waves. John Daly was DQ’d from the 2008 Arnold Palmer Invitational after missing a morning pro-am time (“It stinks for me,” he said) and the two alternates behind him, Nick O’Hern and Ryuji Imada, were DQ’d as well when they were unavailable to take his place.
In 2010, Jim Furyk was DQ’d from the first round of the playoffs when his phone died overnight and he slept through his tee time at the Northern Trust Open. “I’m kicking myself,” Furyk said. “I have a way of climbing into situations that are all my fault.” No worries, though: the rules was changed shortly thereafter, and Furyk went on the win the FedEx Cup.
In 2013, Yani Tseng lost her world No. 1 ranking on Monday of the Kia Classic — and then lost her chance to get it back when she slept through her 9:10 pro-am tee time and was forced out of the tournament field.
All in all, Muangkhumsakul is in some successful company. “It’s really exciting, I would like to go back to Thailand and work hard and practice,” she said. “It’s exciting to practice like I’m planning for next year.”
You can see the complete list of Symetra Tour players who earned their LPGA Tour cards below.
LPGA Tour card winners
1. Perrine Delacour, 25, Laon France – $125,042
2. Patty Tavatanakit, 19, Bangkok – $117,518
3. Jenny Coleman, 27, Rolling Hills Estate, Calif. – $104,840
4. Ssu-Chia Cheng, 21, Taipei – $99,232
5. Jillian Hollis, 22, Rocky River, Ohio – $98,044
6. Julieta Granada, 32, Asuncion, Paraguay – $94,343
7. Leona Maguire, 24, County Cavan, Ireland – $92,517
8. Robynn Ree, 22, Redondo Beach, Calif. – $90,518
9. Esther Lee, 24, Los Alamitos, Calif. – $87,360
10. Mind Muangkhumsakul, 20, Banphai, Thailand – $81,045