After nearly a month delay due to Hurricane Ian, the highly-anticipated second stage of LPGA and Epson Tour Qualifying Tournament begins Thursday at Plantation Golf and Country Club in Venice, Fla.
One hundred and seventy-eight individuals, including 37 amateurs, will compete in a 72-hole, stroke-play format at Plantation Golf and Country Club's Bobcat and Panther courses with the top players at the end of the weekend moving on to Q-Series in December for a chance to earn 2023 eligibility on the LPGA or Epson Tours.
Among the 37 amateurs are 13 current college players, including Oregon's Cynthia Lu, Texas' Sophie Guo, Georgia’s Jenny Bae, Michigan’s Ashley Lau, Florida State’s Amelia Williamson, SMU’s Michelle Zhang, UCF’s Tunrada Piddon, Texas Tech's Shannon Tan, Virginia's Riley Smyth, Michigan State’s Valery Plata, Houston teammates Delaney Martin and Annie Kim, Miami's Nataliya Guseva, Coastal Carolina’s Tiffany Arafi, Cal’s Annika Borrelli, Seattle’s Samantha Bruce, Wisconsin’s Emily Lauterbach, Furman’s Sarah-Eve Rheaume and Arkansas State’s Olivia Schmidt.
A diversion in Q-School rules from previous years allows amateurs to compete in the first and second stages, however, the players who qualify from the final stage must turn professional to compete.
Bailey Shoemaker, a 17-year-old from Dade City, Fla. who signed a letter of intent to play at USC, is also in the field, but has no intention of turning professional in order to compete in the final stage.
“When I signed up for Q-School, it was just for experience, and I thought it’d help me be a better college golfer and it’d be a good experience if I have to do Q-School one day,” she told Golf Channel. “I know it’s such a hard grind out there and very taxing, so I thought the more chances I have at it, the better I’ll do later on. You’re playing some ex-college players and a few pros that have been bouncing on and off the LPGA and Epson tours, so it’s just great practice, and I’m excited to get going.”
Players competing in Venice this week range from ages 16-40 and include 36 amateurs, 104 qualifiers from Stage I, players exempt by Rolex Ranking and by WAPT, three exempt amateurs, Epson Tour members ranked within of the top-125 as of August 8, 2022 and LPGA Tour members ranked outside the top-150 as of October 10, 2022.
“I’m actually very excited to play,” said Stage I medalist, Alessandra Fanali, who played collegiately at Arizona State. “I’ve been practicing and playing a lot in the past two months but not on a competitive level, so it’s a good test for me and my game. I’m in a good place mentally too, so I’m excited to see what’s coming next.”
LPGA.com contributed to this report.
ABOUT THE LPGA Qualifying Series - Second Stage
Second stage of LPGA Tour qualifying consists of 4
rounds, with a minimum of 30 players
advancing to the final stage. Each year, many top
amateurs try to earn their Tour cards, with successful
qualifiers having to decide whether to remain amateur
or turn pro. Starting in 2022, an amateur qualifying for
the final stage MUST turn pro in order to compete.
View Complete Tournament Information