COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State’s Rachel Rohanna opened the first stage of the 2012 LPGA Qualifying Tournament with a 7-under 65 Tuesday on LPGA International’s Legends Course to lead the field. Also competing in the tournament are fellow Buckeyes Amy Meier and Susana Benavides.

“I knew I didn’t have any experience here before so I wanted to get down here and get used to the Bermuda grass and the weather and keep playing like I’ve been playing,” Rohanna said. “I hit the ball really well. I kept it simple: fairways and greens.”

Rohanna, a senior on the Ohio State squad, is a two-time First Team All-Big Ten selection (2010, 2012) and a two-time NCAA All-Regional selection (2011, 2012).

Seniors Meier and Benavides made the first round cut, finishing Tuesday tied for 96th and 206th, respectively. Meier, of Rochester Hills, Mich., shot a 3-over 75 on the day, while Benavides, a Cochabamba, Bolivia, product, recorded a 10-over 82.

Meier was named to the All-Big Ten first team last year, while Benavides earned second team honors.

The field will be cut to the top-70 players and ties following Wednesday’s second round. The top-60 players and ties following four rounds of play will advance into the Qualifying State II. That 72-hole event will be held Oct. 9-12, at Plantation Golf and Country Club in Venice, Fla. The top 70 and ties from Stage II will advance into the final Qualifying Tournament Stage III.

The final Stage III Q-school will be contested over 90 holes, Nov. 28-Dec. 2, on both the Champions and Legends courses at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla. Top finishers in the final stage will earn 2012 LPGA membership (total number of cards TBD) and all others who make the cut will receive Symetra Tour status.

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