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Maria Torres survives hurricane, becomes first woman from Puerto Rico to get LPGA card

by Keely Levins - Golf Digest - December 3, 2017


Before the final stage of LPGA Qualifying School, Maria Torres of Puerto Rico said she wouldn’t turn pro unless she finished in the top 20. The top 20 finishers earn full membership while those finishing 21st to 45th receive only conditional status. After the final 18 holes of the grueling 90-hole final stage in Daytona Beach, Fla., the recent University of Florida grad had hit it right on the number, coming in 20th, with a five-day total of two-under 358. The only catch -- two other players were at 358. It took a three hole playoff, but Torres persevered and won to claim the 20th spot.


Steve Woltmann SUGAR GROVE, IL - MAY 22: Maria Torres of Florida in action during the Division I Women's Golf Individual Championship held at Rich Harvest Farms on May 22, 2017 in Sugar Grove, Illinois. (Photo by Steve Woltmann/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)Steve WoltmannSUGAR GROVE, IL - MAY 22: Maria Torres of Florida in action during the Division I Women's Golf Individual Championship held at Rich Harvest Farms on May 22, 2017 in Sugar Grove, Illinois. (Photo by Steve Woltmann/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)


Grabbing that last available tour card would be an accomplishment for any player, but it was especially special for Torres. By doing so, she became the first woman from Puerto Rico to get a full LPGA Tour card.


The accomplishment is even more impressive given what Torres has been through in recent months. She lives in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico and was there when Hurricane Maria hit in September. Like the majority of people on the island, her family lost power. In the days following the storm, there was no Internet connection in Torres’ home, and she had to get online to submit her payment for the second stage of Q School. She managed to find a signal at a restaurant and sign up for the second stage.


The next problem was getting her game ready for it, a challenging proposition given the suffering many experienced in the country. Before Torres’ situation at home and with her family stabilized, she practiced in a park near her home as the local golf course was destroyed in the storm. Eventually, she went to Florida to practice before competing in the second stage of Q school, where she finished T-15 to move on to the final stage.


“I know people are struggling back home, but what I can do is do my job here for my family because they’ve sacrificed to allow me to be here to play golf,” Torres told the LPGA.


With opening rounds of 73-71-70-70, Torres needed to hold steady in the fifth round. A closing 74 on the Jones Course at LPGA International didn’t come without a little nervousness, but when she finished in 20th spot—10 strokes back of medalist Nasa Hataoka of Japan—it was good enough. Torres was one of two amateurs, along with Robynn Ree, to get their cards for 2018. In order to accept it, both players had to announce they were turning pro shortly after the finish.


Notable among the other 19 players to get full LPGA Tour cards was Georgia Hall, the 21-year-old Englishwoman who finished T-3 in the 2017 Ricoh Women’s British Open and competed in the 2017 Solheim Cup, finishing with a 2-3-0 record. Hall and Torres are among nine Q school grads who'll be rookies on the LPGA Tour in 2018, a list that also includes: Tiffany Chan, Rebecca Artis, Luna Sobron Galmes, Ree, Lauren Coughlin, Kassidy Teare and Gemma Dryburg.


61st Caribbean Amateur Golf Championships Awards Ceremony

August 1 - 4, 2017

The Links, Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic


The original practice green served as the venue for the closing ceremony which started at approximately 3:30pm with a welcome by the Master of Ceremonies. Remarks were also made by Asraph Ali, President - CGA and followed by the presentation of team photographs to the team managers by Carlos Elmudesi, Vice-President - CGA.


Remarks were made by Nicholas Vargas, Dominican Republic Commissioner of Golf, followed by the presentation of prizes by Trenton Weekes, Secretary - CGA. Closing remarks were made by Rafael Villalona, Fedogolf President and the usual handover formalities were done between Cesar Rivera and Bob Slatter, host of the 2018 CAGC in Cayman Islands.





Winners: Valeria Pacheco, Kristina Ortiz, Yudika Rodriguez, Maria Torres – Puerto Rico

Runners-Up: Gabriela Victoria, Maria Sanchez, Karina Sanchez, Yae Eun Kim - Dominican Republic

Lowest Individual Score: Maria Torres - Puerto Rico with 292



Winners: Juan Campusano, Lucas Hernandez, Rodrigo Sanchez, Enrique Valverde, Rhadames Pena, Juan Jose Guerra - Dominican Republic

Runners-Up: Robert Calvesbert, Brandon Bueno, Andres Aranguren, Max Alverio, Erick Morales, Jeronimo Estevez – Puerto Rico

Lowest Individual Score: Juan Campusano - Dominican Republic with 282, Jeronimo Estevez - Puerto Rico with 282



Winning Team: Puerto Rico

Runners-up: Dominican Republic


30th Caribbean Amateur Junior Golf Championships Awards

July 2 – 7, 2017

St. Andrews Golf Club, Moka, Trinidad & Tobago


The upper deck of the Clubhouse served as the venue for the ceremony due to the uncertainty in the weather conditions. The ceremony started with opening remarks at approximately 5:15 pm from Vidia Ramphal as MC.


Remarks were also made by Asraph Ali, President of the CGA and Clyde Abder, President of the TTGA. Trenton Weekes, CGA Secretary announced the prize winners and called on the persons from the award providers to present the trophies.


Sachin Kumar and Valeria Pacheco received the Championship awards in the 18 & under boys and girls divisions respectively.


The Izzy Marley award for sportsmanship was presented by Eryn Blakeley sister of Izzy to Ryan Peters of Trinidad & Tobago.


Puerto Rico won the Hank James Trophy with 145 points, Asraph Ali, Clyde Abder, the Minister of Sport & Youth Affairs and Brian Rambaran, Project Officer of Republic Bank presented the team with the trophy. The Dominican Republic and Trinidad & Tobago tied as runners-up with 117 points.

2017 Caribbean Golf Classic Winners

May 3-7, 2017

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic


Individual Winners

FLIGHT NO.                        LADIES                                                             MEN

7TH                           1st Margerith Wolterstoff 66           1st Johanes Pretorius 82

6TH                           1st Carmelita Blankevoort 70           1st Zane Berry 82

5TH                           1st Michelle Berry 85                          1st Greg O’Driscoll 123

4TH                           1st Alison Reid 101                              1st Haydn Imam 116

3RD                          1st Heather Hardy 98                         1st Richard Martinez 144

2ND                          1st Mae Menzies 120                         1st Wilton Williamson 141

1ST                                                                                           1st Andrew Jarvis 153



Team Trophies


Jodi Munn Barrow Trophy




Robert Grell Trophy




George Noon

T R I N I D A D & T O B A G O