AUSTRALIAN golfer Stacey Keating has officially made it to the big time on the women’s professional golfing circuit, earning herself a conditional card for the 2014 US LPGA Tour.
Keating, from Cressy, shot rounds of 72, 70, 73, 74 and 70 to tie for 38th at one-under par (359) over 90 holes at the LPGA International at Daytona Beach in Florida.
A conditional tour card means she is eligible for some, but not all, of next year’s US LPGA events based on entry numbers.
Joining her next year will be Western Australian Kristie Smith, who also finished on one under par with rounds of 76, 72, 69, 70 and 72.
Keating first picked up a golf club at the age of 12 and applied her craft on a self-made six-hole golf course at her parents’ farm before moving to Melbourne to train at the Sanctuary Lakes Golf Club.
She amassed an impressive record as an amateur in Australia, claiming the Victorian Amateur Championship, finishing second in the Australian Amateur Championship and achieving a number-two national ranking.
The 27-year-old enjoyed a stellar year on the European Tour in 2012, winning the Tenerife Ladies Open de Espana and the Lacoste Ladies Open de France in the space of three weeks whilse also finishing sixth on the Order of Merit.
Whilst Keating and Smith have taken the first steps to becoming full-time players on the US LPGA Tour, they still have a long way to go, with the pair finishing 28 shots behind Q-School winner Jaye Marie Green on 29-under, who was 10 shots clear of second placed Mi Rim Lee and 14 clear of Tiffany Joh, who finished third.