Azahara Muí±oz was born on this day in 1987. A Spanish professional golfer on the US-based LPGA Tour and Ladies European Tour.
Muí±oz turned professional in September 2009, two weeks prior to the first stage of the LPGA Tour Qualifying Tournament in California, in which she finished second and advanced to the final stage in December.
Back in Spain, she received a sponsor’s exemption into the 2009 Madrid Ladies Masters, and made her professional debut on 1 October on the Ladies European Tour (LET). After shooting a 64 (âˆ’9) in the final round, she won the three-round event on the first playoff hole, defeating former ASU teammate Anna Nordqvist with an eagle putt; Muí±oz earned €50,000 and a three-year LET exemption.
Following a rain-shortened one-round victory in Barcelona for €5,000 on the Banesto mini-tour in late October, Muí±oz finished fifth at the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament in December in Florida to earn full playing privileges on the LPGA Tour for 2010. She ended the year ranked 179th in the Women’s World Golf Rankings.
In her rookie season of 2010, Muí±oz made the cut in her first eleven events, and won over $402,000 in LPGA competition with two top ten finishes. She made the top twenty in the three majors she played, was 30th on the money list, and 17th in scoring. Muí±oz handily won the competition for LPGA Tour Rookie of the Year with 704 points; the runner-up was compatriot Beatriz Recari with 419.
She won an additional €26,380 in five events on the Ladies European Tour (total 2010 LET earnings were €96,633 in seven events, with €70,253 from the two events co-sanctioned by the LPGA). Muí±oz ended the year at 41st in the world rankings.
Muí±oz notched her first LPGA Tour victory at the Sybase Match Play Championship in Gladstone, New Jersey with a 2 and 1 victory over Candie Kung. In the semifinal round of match play against Morgan Pressel, Muí±oz trailed by two through 11 holes. Pressel appeared to have won the 12th hole, which would have given her a three-hole lead over Muí±oz, but a slow-play penalty was ruled against Pressel. Muí±oz ended up winning the semifinal match against Pressel, 2 and 1. The victory in May vaulted Muí±oz from 27th to 19th in the world rankings and from tenth to second on the 2012 money list.