VICTORIA, Australia – As the 2012 LPGA season kicks off this week, four former Duke women’s golf All-Americas Amanda Blumenherst, Brittany Lang, Jennie Lee and Alison Whitaker will be competing at the 2012 ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, Feb. 9-12 at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club. Playing for a record $1.1 million purse, the full field LPGA event is the first major female professional event to be played on the renowned composite layout, par-73 course.
Blumenherst, a 2009 alum, finished her second full season on the LPGA Tour in 2011. She made 16 cuts in 23 total events, which included a 12th place finish at the KIA Classic. The former three-time National Player of the Year also finished tied for 43rd at the Honda LPGA Thailand and tied for 54th at the HSBC Women’s Championship. In 2010, Blumenherst recorded her first career top 10 finish with a tie for seventh at the Tres Marias Championship. Since her debut on the tour in 2010, Blumenherst has earned $417,135.
Lang, the 2005 ACC Player of the Year and two-time All-America, won back-to-back ACC individual titles in 2004 and 2005 while playing at Duke. In addition, she was named the ACC Freshman of the Year and NCAA Freshman College Golfer of the Year in 2004. On the pro circuit, Lang earned seven top 10 finishes in 2011, including a second place finish at the RICOH Women’s British Open. Among her top 10 placements, Lang was tied for fourth at the Navistar LPGA Classic, tied for fifth at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia, and finished seventh at the Safeway Classic. In 2010, Lang recorded her highest finish of the season at the U.S. Women’s Open, where she tied for fifth place. She also is coming off competing for the U.S. on the Solheim Cup this past year. Playing on the LPGA Tour since 2006, Lang has amassed $3,117,463 in career earnings.
Lee, a 2009 graduate of Duke with a degree in Sociology, helped Duke win back-to-back NCAA Women’s Golf Championships in 2006 and 2007. Prior to the beginning of the 2011 season, Lee finished tied for 14th at the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament, where she was labeled Priority List Category 11 for the 2011 LPGA season. The former Blue Devil made five cuts in 10 tries in 2011, and accumulated $22,248 in earnings for her performances. Lee earned her 2012 LPGA card by finishing third at the qualifying tournament. She also notched a tied for ninth finish in the Ladies European Tour (LET) qualifying tour to receive her 2012 card and will be playing on both the LPGA and LET tournaments.
A two-time All-ACC selection with the Blue Devils, Whitaker will be playing in the tournament as she compete in her home country of Australia. A native of Melbourne, Australia, Whitaker lettered at Duke from 2007-10 and was a two-time honorable mention All-America.
Former Duke NCAA individual champion, Anna Grzebien, is an alternate for the season-opening tournament. She lettered at Duke from 2003-07 and was a three-time All-America with the Blue Devils.
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