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Gao enters KF Tour Q-School next stage

WeiWei Gao salvaged an even-par 71 despite four bogeys to ease through the second stage of the Korn Ferry Tour Q-School at The Club at Irish Creek in Kannapolis, North Carolina Friday.

The former Alta Vista Golf and Country Club standout finishes 72 holes on 9-under 275 to settle for share of 14th spot. He was among 26 players who advanced into the next stage next month.

Gao, a product of the University of Virginia, had one bogey in his first nine before riding the roller-coaster coming home. He birdied 11 and bogeyed 12 before firing an eagle on 13.

The Filipino birdied 15 but dropped a shot on 16 and 18.

He shot 71-66-66 in the first three rounds.

Frankie Capan III was the runaway winner on 26-under after a closing 66, a score matched by Charles Huntzinger who came in second on 18-under.

Four players — JD Hughes, Ryan Siegler, Brian Campbell and Patrick Cover — tied for third on 16-under.

Meanwhile, Clariss Guce fired a one-under-par 71 while compatriots Dottie Ardina and Abby Arevalo each shot a 72 at the start of the Guardian Championship of the Epson Tour at the Capitol Hill Golf Club in Pratville, Alabama.

Guce, who started at the back, birdied two of the last five holes to counter a bogey and double bogey on 16 and 17, respectively.

Ardina, looking to improve her standing in Ascensus Race for the Card, recovered from three bogeys in the first nine holes with three birdies coming home.

She currently sits in 17th spot with season earnings of $50,297. The top 10 at the end of the season get LPGA Tour cards.

Arevalo, priming up for the LPGA Tour Q-School second stage next month, rallied with two birdies in the last four holes to offset a double bogey on 17.

Polly Mack was the leader with 66, one shot ahead of Karen Chung, Jillian Hollis, Becca Huffer, Bailey Tardy, Milagros Chaves and Yan Liu.

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