Handful of collegians earn status at LPGA Q-Series
03 Nov 2018
by Staff

Jennifer Kupcho (Wake Forest Athletics photo)
Jennifer Kupcho (Wake Forest Athletics photo)

PINEHURST, N.C. (Nov. 3, 2018) – The LPGA Q-Series marathon is over, and it has left some top college programs in drastic need of a regroup. Nine amateurs were in the 101-player Q-Series field, and after eight rounds, eight of them finished in the top 45 and ties – high enough to earn full LPGA status for the 2019 season. Seven of those eight are current college players.

Along with the LPGA’s revamped qualifying format, amateurs are able – for the first time – to defer their LPGA card until the end of the college season. A player used to be required to declare professional status immediately upon earning an LPGA card.

The option for deferment added an interesting wrinkle. Ultimately only two of the seven college players declared right away that they would take that option.

Related: When college and pro golf collide

Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols contacted each of the collegians after Saturday’s eighth and final round at Pinehurst No. 7. Only Wake Forest senior Jennifer Kupcho (second, 17 under) and Arkansas senior Maria Fassi (32nd, 6 over) said they would return to their respective schools. Kupcho is the defending national champion and Fassi’s team will host the NCAA Championship.

Both of the Alabama players in the field told Golfweek they would turn pro immediately. Kristen Gillman (T-13, 1 under) the reigning U.S. Women’s Amateur champion, and Lauren Stephenson (T-8, 4 under) will be a big loss for a Crimson Tide team that broke an NCAA scoring record earlier this fall. UCLA’s Lilia Vu (T-27, 5 over) will also turn professional.

Colorado’s Robyn Choi (T-45, 10 over) and Ohio State’s Jaclyn Lee (sixth, 7 under) told Golfweek they were still weighing their options.

Another amateur, Suzuka Yamagushi (T-36, 8 over), also earned an LPGA card, but does not play on a U.S. college roster.

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