Former Central-Phenix City, Auburn golfer Haley Wilson to take another step toward LPGA Tour

kprice@ledger-enquirer.comOctober 8, 2012 

Former Central-Phenix City and Auburn golfer Haley Wilson will attempt to take another step toward gaining her playing privileges for the 2013 LPGA Tour.

Wilson tees off today at 8:33 a.m. in the first round of Stage II. The four-round stage ends on Friday. It is being played at Plantation Golf and Country Club in Venice, Fla.

"It is a typical Florida course, flat, small greens, good bit of sand and water," Wilson said after Monday's practice round. "I like the course and have had a couple of good practice rounds. I am very excited and prepared for a great week."

The top 70 players and ties from this tournament, which has a field of 157 players, will move on to the final stage, which will be Nov. 28-Dec. 2 at Daytona Beach, Fla.

Those who do not qualify for Stage III will receive status on the Symetra Tour, which is the LPGA's developmental tour.

Wilson said qualifying can be nerve-wracking.

"You are playing each day with where you will play next year on the line," she said. "However, that will be my life for a long time, so I am committed to enjoy this part of and use it as positive energy and not negative."

After finishing her college career at Auburn in the spring, Wilson qualified and played in the U.S. Women's Open.

She played in two professional tournaments. She finished in a tie for 16th at the Texas Open and finished third in the Tennessee Open.

She also attempted to qualify for the LPGA Tournaments in Toledo, Ohio, and Prattville, Ala.

Wilson finished in a tie for 58th in Stage I of qualifying in September at Daytona Beach.

"The professional tournaments established the play-well-or-go-home mindset," Wilson said. "If you don't make the cut, you don't make a check. I will get better and better at this and look forward to the future."

As she prepared for Stage II, Wilson switched from a belly putter to a regular putter.

"I have really been working on my tempo," She said. "Most of the time when I have a little trouble, I have to go back to the basics -- stance, grip and tempo."

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