Mills, 18, took birdies on her last two holes to win the qualifier by two strokes over San Antonio’s Taylor Coleman, 16. Both high school golfers will compete against touring pros at the LPGA’s first full-field event in Dallas-Fort Worth since the 1991 U.S. Women’s Open in Fort Worth.
“I feel so honored to even have the chance to qualify for an LPGA event. It’s just awesome,” Mills said. “I didn’t think I would shoot 1-under. I was relaxed, but I got nervous the last four holes.”
Coleman, a sophomore at San Antonio Johnson High School, called it “super cool” to get the opportunity to gauge her skills against the touring pros.
“I am so excited to qualify,” Coleman said. “I thought I played pretty solid, kept it pretty steady and made my putts.”
Mills and Coleman will be two of four amateurs in this week’s field, join college players Morgan Pressell and Casey Grice. Pressel, a Texas golfer who is the sister of LPGA standout Morgan Pressel, and Grice, a College Station native who plays for North Carolina, shared medalist honors at the Collegiate Shootout, March 12 in Irving.
In Monday’s professional qualifier, Sophia Sheridan and Amelia Lewis posted matching 70s to land the two available spots in the field for Thursday’s opening round. Both golfers finished a stroke ahead of Ariya Jutanugarn (71) and Nicole Hage (71).
_ Jimmy Burch