Golf Australia

Yuan dazzles to lead Q-school

Celina Yuan
TOP MARKS: Celina Yuan has shot a sizzling 64 to lead after the first round.

Sydney teen Celina Yuan has begun the LPGA Tour's Q-school in spectacular fashion, leading a huge global field of aspirants in California.

Yuan, who made headlines two years ago when she won her card on the Ladies European Tour as a freshly minted 17-year-old professional, is, extraordinarily, three strokes clear after a withering round of eight-under-par 64 at the Dinah Shore course at Rancho Mirage.

Yuan, a member at The Australian in Sydney and former Australian Junior champion, went bogey-free to clear out from a 340-strong field vying for 60 places after four rounds to advance to the second stage of the gruelling Q-school process.

She carded four birdies on each side, never going three successive holes without a birdie.

Sunshine Coast amateur Lauren Mason, who has spent several years in college at Texas Tech, is also well placed after a fine 71.

Mason, who played at nearby Shadow Ridge, carded three birdies against two bogeys to sit in a share of 36th.

Victorian amateur Julienne Soo is also handy having signed for a 73 at the Arnold Palmer course to lie in T84.

Queenslanders Emily McLennan and Robyn Choi are next best in a share of 121st at two over on a jammed leaderboard.

Of the other Aussies, Montana Strauss (+4 for T199), Nadine White (+5 for T242), Wanasa Zhou and Jade Shellback (both +7 for T276) are within reach.

But Grace Lennon (+15) might have played her way out of contention and Elizabeth Elmassian (+18) withdrew after her round.

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