GREENSBORO, N.C. – Former UNCG women’s golfer Jenny Gleason earned her LPGA Tour Card for 2013 after finishing No. 7 on the season-ending money list for the 2012 Volvik Race for the Card on the Symetra Tour. Gleason has appeared on the LPGA tour the last nine years, but 2013 will mark her first full-time membership to the top women’s tour.
“This is literally a dream come true,” Gleason said. “I’ve been working towards this the last nine years, and it’s over. I have my full LPGA Tour card for the first time. I’m almost speechless.”
Gleason broke inside the top 10 at No. 9 after her third career Symetra Tour victory at the Northeast Delta Dental International in Concord, N.H., in week eight. She fell out of the Race for the three weeks following but worked her way back in at No. 6 after a runner-up finish at the Eagle Classic in week 12. This year, Gleason has recorded four top-10 and six top-20 finishes in 10 starts and has spent a total of five weeks inside the top 10.
Gleason, a Clearwater, Fla., native, graduated from UNCG in 2003 with a degree in finance, insurance and real estate. As a collegiate golfer, she recorded three individual victories and was a four-time All-Southern Conference selection.
This year marked the first year since the Race for the Card was implemented in 1999 that 10 players received fully exempt LPGA Tour cards for next year. From 1999 to 2002, three exemptions were awarded and from 2007-2011, 10 LPGA memberships were awarded with only the top 5 earning fully exempt status.
This year’s Symetra Tour graduates are, in order of finish: 1. Esther Choe of Scottsdale, Ariz., $55,690; 2. Paola Moreno of Cali, Colombia, $50,908; 3. Victoria Elizabeth of Dayton, Ohio, $46,565; 4. Thidapa Suwannapura of Bangkok, Thailand, $42,884; 5. Daniela Iacobelli of Viera, Fla., $41,049; 6. Mi Hyang Lee of Incheon, South Korea, $40,882; 7. Jenny Gleason of Clearwater, Fla., $38,741; 8. Julia Boland of Tamworth, NSW, Australia, $38,447; 9. Nicole Smith of Riverside, Calif., $38,004; 10. Sara Maude-Juneau of Quebec, Canada, $37,632.