Sara-Maude Juneau is off to the LPGA Tour.
The 24-year-old from Fossambault-sur-le-lac, Que., secured her 2013 playing card on the top women’s circuit in the world Sunday by finishing in 10th spot on the lower-level Symetra Tour’s money list.
The top 10 earned cards.
Juneau, a former Canadian national team member, in her second season of pro golf, tied for fourth place Sunday at the season-ending Daytona Beach Invitational in Daytona Beach, Fla.
It was her sixth top-10 result in 15 Symetra starts this year.
Finishing three strokes behind winner Daniela Iacobelli of the United States on Sunday, Juneau earned $5,468 (all currency U.S.) to take her season total to $37,632 – more than $4,000 ahead of No. 11 Jenny Suh.
As per the Symetra Tour custom, Juneau and the others among the 10-top money winners received oversized LPGA cards at a ceremony. Next year, she’ll join Canadian regulars such as Lorie Kane of Charlottetown, Alena Sharp of Hamilton and Maude-Aimee Leblanc on the LPGA.
Iacobelli was the only one to play her way into the top 10 Sunday. She jumped to No. 5 from No. 22 with the victory. Suh started the event at No. 8 and fell out.
The Symetra Tour, in its 32nd year and formerly called the Duramed Futures Tour, has been awarding LPGA Tour cards to its top finishers since 1999. A total of 67 cards had been awarded before Sunday.
This is the first year that 10 full-time cards were up for grabs.
The last Canadians to gain LPGA Tour status through the Symetra Tour were Samantha Richdale of Kelowna, B.C., and Angela Buzminski of Oshawa, Ont., in 2009. Jessica Shepley of Oakville, Ont., also advanced in 2008.
After Juneau, the next highest Canadian on the list this year was Sue Kim of Langley, B.C., at No. 23. She tied for 18th place at Daytona.
Kim narrowly missed a consolation prize. Those who finished from No. 11 to No. 20 on the money list, which the tour calls the Volvik Race for the Card, got a direct ticket into the third and final stage of the LPGA Tour’s qualifying tournament.
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