Choi Hye-jin, An Na-rin in top three at LPGA qualifying event

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Choi Hye-jin, An Na-rin in top three at LPGA qualifying event

Choi Hye-jin watches her drive during the third round of the LPGA Q-Series Week One tournament at Magnolia Grove in Mobile, Alabama on Saturday. [LPGA]

Choi Hye-jin watches her drive during the third round of the LPGA Q-Series Week One tournament at Magnolia Grove in Mobile, Alabama on Saturday. [LPGA]

 
Choi Hye-jin finished second and An Na-rin third in the first round of the LPGA's qualifying tournament in Alabama on Sunday, falling just behind Pauline Roussin-Bouchard of the United States.
 
Choi finished the LPGA Q-Series Week One event with a score of 17-under, 269, two strokes behind Roussin-Bouchard. An followed with a score of 14-under, 273.
 
The Q Series is a two-week event, with the first week at Magnolia Grove in Mobile, Alabama. The tournament will now move to Highland Oaks Golf Club in Dothan, Alabama for the second week.
 
The top 45 players when all eight rounds of play are over will receive an LPGA Tour card for the 2022 season. All other golfers who competed in all eight rounds will receive a card for the Symetra Tour.
 
Choi, a three-time KLPGA Player of the Year, has never been a permanent fixture on the LPGA Tour, but has had some success at Tour events. In 2017 she finished second at the U.S. Women's Open, while in 2018 she finished second at the Australian Open. She has 10 KLPGA titles to her name.
 
"I've been satisfied with my performance this week, but I still made some mistakes here and there," Choi said on Sunday. "I'll have about three days to work on my game, and I hope to play even better in the next phase."
 
An Na-rin looks on during the fourth round of the LPGA Q-Series Week One tournament at Magnolia Grove in Mobile, Alabama on Sunday. [LPGA]

An Na-rin looks on during the fourth round of the LPGA Q-Series Week One tournament at Magnolia Grove in Mobile, Alabama on Sunday. [LPGA]

 
For An, the LPGA Q-Series is only her second competitive appearance in the United States, the other being a tied-for-63rd finish at the 2020 U.S. Women's Open. An came close to making an impact on this year's Tour, however, finishing third at the 2021 BMW Ladies Championship, the only LPGA event in Korea.
 
"I've played well overall so far but we still have one more week to go," An said. "I will have to stay focused and build on the momentum from this week."

BY JIM BULLEY [jim.bulley@joongang.co.kr]
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