After nearly missing Q-School due to Hurricane Maria, Maria Torres is looking to cap off her rookie season with a major title.
Looking for a golfer to root for this weekend, the first without a PGA Tour event since last November?
Look no further than Maria Torres, the Puerto Rican 23-year-old who will enter the weekend in France in a four-way tie for the lead at the Evian Championship, the last LPGA Tour major of the season.
Torres, who was the 2016 SEC Player of the Year while playing at Florida, nearly missed the second stage of Q-School after she was in Puerto Rico when it was devestated by Hurricane Maria last September. Torres told Golf Digest that she spent a full week without power with her family, and because all nearby golf courses were flooded, she practiced for second stage by hitting balls at a local park.
She would escape the island on a private plane and would eventually earn her tour card, becoming the first Puerto Rican woman to do so in the process.
Now she's in position to claim her first major championship, having backed up an opening-round 65 with a two-under 69 to sit at eight under, where she's joined by Amy Olson, Mo Martin and Mi Hyang Lee.
"It's incredible to be here and to have this opportunity," Torres said after the round. "I'm grateful to be here and to have all the support from back home."
It would be a remarkable finish to a solid-but-not-terrific rookie season. Ranked 84th in the season-long Race to CME Globe and 184th in the Rolex World Rankings, Torres has made nine of 20 cuts and earned over $138,000 for the season thus far. Her previous best finish is a T-7 at the Thornberry Creek Classic in July.
Lexi Thompson and world No. 1 Sung Hyun Park were among those who missed the cut.