Pro Roundup

Former CU golfer Choi medalist in qualifying, earning spots in 2 upcoming LPGA Tour events; Korte fires 62, Schmitz 63 in pre-qualifying for Phoenix Open

By Gary Baines – 1/24/2020

Former University of Colorado golfer Robyn Choi, who played on the LPGA Tour last year, earned medalist honors earlier this week at the Australian Ladies Professional Golf Qualifying Tournament in Brisbane.

Choi, who twice qualified in Colorado for the U.S. Women’s Open, posted rounds of 72-68-70 for a 9-under-par 210 total to finish first out of a field of 74 players, one stroke ahead of runner-up Hana Lee.

The victory guarantees the former Buff spots in the ISPS Handa Vic Open (Feb. 6-9) and the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open (Feb. 13-16) — both Australian-based events that are sanctioned by the LPGA Tour as well as the ALPG. Choi will also get starts in the Australian Ladies Classic (Feb. 20-23) and the Women’s NSW Open (Feb. 27-March 1, which are co-sanctioned with the Ladies European Tour.

Choi, a native of Australia, competed in a dozen LPGA Tour events in 2019, making three cuts and earning $10,007.

Elsewhere in professional golf:

— Two Colorado residents and two other golfers who went to college in Colorado advanced through pre-qualifying to earn spots in the Monday qualifying tournament for the PGA Tour’s Waste Management Phoenix Open.

Chris Korte of Littleton, who recently qualified for PGA Tour Latinoamerica, shot a 9-under-par 62 Thursday in Chandler, Ariz., to tie for first place in his pre-qualifying tournament. The former University of Denver golfer recorded 10 birdies and one bogey on the day.

Meanwhile, at a pre-qualifier on Tuesday in Scottsdale, Ryan Schmitz of Littleton, the former University of Colorado golfer who also recently qualified for PGA Tour Latinoamerica, won by carding an 8-under-par 63. Schmitz posted nine birdies and one bogey on the round.

Also advancing to the Monday qualifier was former CU golfer Jeremy Paul (4-under-par 68 for second place in Glendale, Ariz.) and former Colorado State University player Blake Cannon (65 for second place Thursday in Mesa).

Jake Staiano of Cherry Hills Village tied for second place and earned $700 on Monday in a one-round Outlaw Tour event in Scottsdale, Ariz. The former CGA Player of the Year shot a 5-under-par 67 — making six birdies and one bogey — to end up one behind winner Jesse Heinly of Bend, Ore., in the WMO Prep tournament. Former CU golfer Jeremy Paul placed fourth (68) and his brother Yannik was seventh (69).

— Former Fort Collins resident Tom Whitney played his final seven holes in 5 under par to tie for eighth place in the Northern Texas PGA Players Tour event in Frisco that ended on Friday. The former Air Force Academy golfer went 70-68 for a 6-under-par 138 total, which left him nine strokes behind champion Zander Lozano of Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas. Whitney, who has status on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2020, eagled his final hole on Friday.