After 8 round qualifying marathon, 4 amateurs get LPGA Tour cards
The LPGA Q School class of 2019 (LPGA photo)
The LPGA Q School class of 2019 (LPGA photo)

The 2019 LPGA Q-Series concluded Saturday after mounting pressure over eight rounds on Pinehurst (N.C.) No. 6 and No. 9.

Seven amateurs were among the 98 players who made it to the Final Stage, with four earning full LPGA Tour status for the 2020 season.

Among them are Stanford teammates Albane Valenzuela (Geneva, Switzerland) and Andrea Lee (Hermosa, Calif.), who finished tied sixth and tied 30th respectively, well inside the top 45 who earned their LPGA Tour cards.

Valenzuela, a two-time U.S. Women's Amateur runner-up, shot 7 under for the eight rounds and was a model of consistency, with all rounds between 69 and 73.

"I played some really good golf," she said. "I only had two rounds over par, 1- and 2-over, and then the rest were par or better. So I was very consistent; I didn't make any doubles."

"So, you know, I think it just showed that I was very steady and patient. I'm just happy that my game was good for three weeks. I've never played actually three weeks in a row, so this was really a first. So just feels great to pull the it out at the right time."

Jennifer Chang (Cary, N.C.) of USC and Arizona graduate Bianca Pagdanganan (Philippines) also earned full LPGA Tour status. Chang finished comfortably in a tie for 9th but Pagdanganan had to sweat out a final-round 78 that put her two shots above the qualifying cut line.

Now the decision will have to be made: turn pro now or finish out the college season?

Related: Amateur tug-of-war: When college and pro golf collide

Chang has already decided to turn pro immediately, as has Frida Kinhult (Sweden) of Florida State, who didn't earn LPGA status but did get her Symetra Tour card for 2020 by finishing in the top 80.

But others will have to decide.

Valenzuela still has designs on earning her degree and trying to play in the Olympic tournament for Switzerland, but will take some time to explore her options. For now, she said, there is only one thing for sure in her immediate plans.


Amateur Leaderboard, 2019 LPGA Q-Series

Earned LPGA Tour status
71-73-69-70-69-69-71-73=565 (T6) Albane Valenzuela
74-69-70-68-71-68-72-75=567 (T9) Jennifer Chang
72-70-72-67-71-74-77-72=575 (T30) Andrea Lee
74-74-72-70-72-64-72-78=576 (T38) Bianca Pagdanganan

Earned Symetra Tour status
71-69-72-71-72-76-72-78=581 (T51) Kum-Kang Park
72-75-73-69-78-68-78-71=584 (T62) Sierra Brooks
74-72-74-70-72-70-80-74=586 (T67) Frida Kinhult

View results for LPGA Qualifying Series - Final Stage
ABOUT THE LPGA Qualifying Series - Final Stage

Final stage of qualifying consists of 8 stroke play rounds over consecutive weeks, with the top 45 players and ties earning LPGA Tour status, and all others earning Symetra Tour status. Each year, many top amateurs try to earn their Tour cards, with successful qualifiers having to decide whether to remain amateur or turn pro and play Final Stage qualifying.

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