Dec. 4, 2011
UCLA senior Stephanie Kono is no longer an amateur golfer.
By finishing in a tie for ninth at the Qualifying Tournament on Sunday, Kono earned full status on the Ladies Professional Golf Assn. Tour for 2012.
Kono posted a final round score of 75 (+3) and finished the 90-hole marathon known as Q-School with a five-round total of 363 (+3), 13 shots behind the winner, Junthima Gulyanamitta.
"I want to thank UCLA and my coaches for giving me the opportunity to be a student-athlete at UCLA," Kono said. "This is a bittersweet moment as I accept my LPGA card and end my career as a member of the women's golf team, but the LPGA is where I've always wanted to be and this is an opportunity that I cannot pass up. I will always cherish my memories as a Bruin and I am very grateful for my teammates and coaches, who were extremely supportive throughout my time at UCLA."
Kono, 22, will join several former Bruins and ex-teammates already competing on the pro circuit, among them Jane Park, Tiffany Joh, Ryann O'Toole and Sydnee Michaels, who played for the Bruins during Kono's first two seasons on the team.
The three-time, first-team All-American leaves UCLA after an outstanding career in which she won four tournaments and recorded 46 career rounds under par. Also an excellent student, Kono is scheduled to graduate this Spring after making the Director's Honor Roll six times and twice being named to the All-Pac-10 Academic Team.
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