In the comments for my Make-Or-Break ’07 post, Bill Roberts asked about Michelle McGann and her status for next year. Since Michelle falls into a category that includes several other players, I thought I should go into depth about some of the less-used ways to be declared exempt.
According to the 2007 Exempt Members page at lpga.com, McGann is coded “7#”. Code 7 means that if all of her other exemptions have expired, she qualifies by having been in the Top 40 of the career LPGA money list at that time AND if she competed in at least 10 events during one of the previous two calendar years. A player can only claim this exemption once, and that exemption covers the next two years. The “#” code means Michelle was granted a medical extension in a prior season, which adds one season onto a player’s earned exemptions. She received the Top 40 money list exemption entering the 2005 season, but was only able to play nine events that year because of medical reasons. The medical extension added a third year onto her Code 7 and her full-exempt status expires at the end of 2007. Unfortunately McGann has only made one cut in the 14 events she’s competed in this year, so we may not be seeing much more of her on the course.
Michelle is the only player coded “7#” but Donna Andrews is coded “7, 10”. The only difference is, Donna received her medical extension this year (she had her first child in 2006) to extend her Code 7 which would have expired after last year. She hasn’t played at all in 2007 so she may have decided to retire. The other Code 7 players (who don’t have any other exemptions) are Danielle Ammaccapane, Dawn Coe-Jones, Tammie Green, Betsy King and Dottie Pepper. Ammaccapane, Coe-Jones and King have only used up the first year of that exemption and will all be exempt in 2008.
They say you learn something new every day. What I learned today was, the Code 4 exemption (two or more career wins, the last in 2002) is NOT a lifetime one. While fact-checking the previous paragraph, I noticed that Betsy King had a Code 4 exemption for 2006 but not in 2007. So that statement I made in yesterday’s post in the Relaxed section – throw it out. I now know that it can expire, but I can’t be certain WHEN it expires. It may expire at the end of this year – the 2006 exemption page refers to the last win coming in 2001 or 2002 while the 2007 page mentions only 2002. King's last win came in 2001, which supports this theory. So I could infer that Code 4 is a five-year exemption (like winning a major championship – Code 6) but since I’ve already whiffed on it a couple of times, I’ll wait for the 2008 exemption page to verify this.
Three players – Christi Cano, Seo-Yeon Jeon and Sae-Hee Son – are coded 8a, which means they qualified for 2006 through Q-School and received a medical extension for 2007. This code is what Ashley Hoagland is reportedly looking to receive for 2008. There are a couple of other codes to which nobody is currently assigned. Codes 9 and 11 are the mysterious “Tournament Regulations” and “By-laws Article VII, Section 1”. If anybody knows how these work or has an example of one of them being used, please clue the rest of us in.