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Shane Bacon

Averyhardt, Song highlight graduates at LPGA Q-School

Shane Bacon
Devil Ball Golf

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Just seven days ago, the PGA Tour Q-School was wrapping up, and a kid named Joseph Bramlett made news because he joined Tiger Woods as the only two black golfers on the PGA Tour for 2011.

Now, at LPGA Q-School, we have another African-American making waves. Shasta Averyhardt (pictured), just 24, got priority list 16 after her five rounds of Q-School, meaning she will be allowed in some LPGA tournaments and have to earn her way into others, but just getting there is impressive. Averyhardt will be just the fourth African-American woman to play at the top of the sport in 60 years of the LPGA (h/t PGT).

Along with that success story is Aree Song, who is known more for her play as a youngster than that of a recent pro. All that changed when she won Q-School this week, shooting 6-under to take medalist honors by two shots.

Song is a Q-School success story, as one that went from fame to flame out, and is back in the golf picture. At 18, Song finished second at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, but struggled with her play and her health, missing all of 2008 with health issues. After struggling again in '09 and this season (she made just two of five cuts), Song was forced back to Q-School, but a win there will give the new 24-year-old some much needed confidence.

We hear a lot about PGA Tour Q-School, but not much is made of the LPGA event, which is strange, because the difference in money from a LPGA player to someone on the Futures is night and day, and drastic enough to make playing golf an option, not a no-brainer like those getting Nationwide Tour status.

Nicole Hage, who finished 10th at Q-School this weekend, told Devil Ball, "It's the worst week of your life. Mentally and physically draining whether or not you have a job, all (just) depends on a little white ball."

Asked the relief that came with knowing she made it, Hage said, "I balled when I signed my scorecard. All the emotions that I had to hold in all week just came out. I honestly wanted to cry after every round just because it's so much pressure."

The rest of those that made it can be found right here.

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