Angela Park, a senior from Torrance who is ranked No. 9 among women's amateur golfers and No. 4 among girls, said Thursday that she plans to forgo college and will enter the Futures Tour qualifying tournament Nov. 8-11 in Florida, though she will not immediately turn professional.
Park, 17, was a semifinalist in the Women's U.S. Amateur championship in August. She said that if she qualifies for the Futures Tour -- the triple-A of women's golf -- she will play as an amateur until her 18th birthday in August.
If she does not qualify, she said, she will play national amateur events and try to get exemptions into Futures and LPGA tournaments.
"I think the timing is right," said Park, who on Tuesday was selected an All-American by the American Junior Golf Assn. "I've known for a long time that I want to be a golfer, so I don't feel like I need to go to college to figure out if that's what I really want to do."
The qualifying tournament dates conflict with the Southern Section playoffs, leaving Torrance, a favorite for the team title, without its No. 1 player for the divisional and section finals.
Should the Tartars advance to the Southern California Regional championship, Park would rejoin the team.
Park won the section individual title in 2003 and was runner-up last year, but will miss the individual finals Nov. 4 because she will be in Florida for practice rounds.
"I want to play, and if I could fly back and forth I would," Park said. "But it doesn't make sense to miss this opportunity for a high school tournament."
-- Peter Yoon