LPGA Q-Series: Former Netflix star, an NAIA history maker and freshly-minted pros set for 144-hole grind




  • In Sports/Golf
  • 2022-12-01 12:00:50Z
  • By USA TODAY Sports - Golfweek
 

One hundred players will tee it up this week at LPGA Q-Series, an eight-round grind that begins on Dec. 1 and ends Dec. 11. The first week will be contested at the RTJ Trail at Magnolia Grove in Mobile, Alabama, at the Crossings and Falls courses.

The field will be cut to top 70 and ties after the first week of competition. The second week of competition will take place at Highland Oaks Golf Course in Dothan, Alabama.

A total of 45 players will receive LPGA status in 2023. This is the first year that players were required to turn professional before entering Q-Series. A total of six players turned pro for this week: Nataliya Guseva, Minji Kang, Ashley Lau, Heather Lin, Valery Plata and Natthakritta Vongtaveelap.

Players ranked in the top 75 automatically advanced to the final stage. Those players include: Yuna Nishimura (44), Hae Ran Ryu (51) and Minami Katsu (56).

Players who finish in the top 20 of Q-Series will fall under Category 14 of the LPGA Priority List. Those who finish 21-45 and ties earn Category 15 and Epson Tour status Category C.

Those who complete all four rounds before the cut earn Epson Tour status.

This year's field features an eclectic group of players, including former college hotshots, up-and-comers and a former Netflix star.

"No one really wants to be here," said Dewi Weber, who finished 101st on the CME points list this year, one position shy of a full card.

"The vibes are always really, really weird at Q-school. But I was a rookie on the LPGA, but I feel like I'm kind of a vet when it comes to Q-school because I've done this now four times, even though I don't want to but I have."

Mariah Stackhouse

 

Mariah Stackhouse of the United States looks on from the fifth tee during the second round of the Kroger Queen City Championship presented by P&G at Kenwood Country Club on September 09, 2022 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Mariah Stackhouse first qualified for the LPGA for the 2017 season, becoming the seventh black woman to earn a tour card. The 28-year-old Stanford grad advanced through the second stage of Q-School after finishing 184th on the CME points list. Stackhouse competed in 10 LPGA events this season, with her best finish, 39th, coming at the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational team event.

Bailey Tardy

 

Bailey Tardy of USA plays her shot on the third tee during the final round of the Epson Tour Championship at the Champions course at LPGA International on October 09, 2022 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Two years ago, Bailey Tardy missed out on earning her LPGA card through the Epson Tour by $343. Once again, Tardy finished 11th on the money list, missing the 10th spot by $1,765 this season. Tardy held the lead on Sunday at the Tour Championship on the strength of five birdies in six holes on the front nine. A back-nine 37, however, dropped her down to third place.

She has one victory on the Epson Tour: the 2021 Copper Rock Championship.

Alexa Pano

 

Alexa Pano of the USA plays her shot on the eighteenth green during the second round of the Epson Tour Championship at the Champions course at LPGA International on October 07, 2022 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Alexa Pano turned professional last spring after competing in her third Augusta National Women's Amateur. The 18-year-old, known for her role in the Netflix series "The Short Game," competed in 18 events on the Epson Tour this season, finishing 13th on the money list with three top-three performances. Pano ranked second on tour in greens in regulation.

Dewi Weber

 

Dewi Weber of the Netherlands walks across the 16th hole during the third round of the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational at Midland Country Club on July 15, 2022 in Midland, Michigan. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Dewi Weber double-bogeyed her penultimate hole of the Pelican LPGA Championship earlier this month, thinking that she needed to be more aggressive than needed. The costly error left her at No. 101 on the CME points list, one spot out of keeping her full tour card.

"I think I needed a good round today and I kind of knew that," a disappointed Weber told Golfweek after that final-round 70, "and it was a bit of a guessing game where everybody else was."

Valery Plata

 

Valery Plata of Colombia tees off on the 3rd hole on day one of The Amundi Evian Championship at Evian Resort Golf Club on July 21, 2022 in Evian-les-Bains, France. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Michigan State senior Valery Plata began her Q-School journey in Stage I, where she took a share of second. Currently ranked 100th in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, Plata's best finish this fall was eighth place at the Landfall Invitational. She was voted Big Ten Player of the Year as a sophomore.

Lindy Duncan

 

Lindy Duncan plays her shot on the eighth tee during the third round of The Ascendant LPGA benefiting Volunteers of America at Old American Golf Club on October 01, 2022 in The Colony, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Lindy Duncan, a four-time first-team All-American at Duke, won six times as a Blue Devil and was named Division I Player of the Year. Duncan, 31, first earned a full card on the LPGA for the 2016 season. Her best season on the LPGA came in 2018 when she finished 42nd on the money list.

Duncan finished 115th on the CME points list this season, with her lone top 10 on the LPGA coming at the CP Women's Open. She teed it up in 14 Epson Tour events in 2022.

Natthakritta Vongtaveelap

Natthakritta Vongtaveelap finished her amateur career No. 29 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. The young Thai player finished runner-up at the Women's Asia-Pacific Amateur and won the Singha Thailand Amateur Open in her last two amateur starts.

MinJi Kang

 

Minji Kang hits a shot during Tuesday's practice round at Q-Series. (LPGA photo)

South Korea's MinJi Kang came to Truett McConnell University as a 22-year-old freshman and quickly made NAIA history last season with the lowest 18-hole, 36-hole and 54-hole records. Kang was named the first TMU women's golf All-American, NAIA Freshman of the Year, NAIA Player of the Year, 2021-2022 NAIA Ping WGCA National Player of the Year and 2021-2022 NAIA WGCA National Freshman of the Year.

By advancing through the first two stages of LPGA Qualifying School, she's already the first TMU player to earn professional status on the Epson Tour.

Meghan MacLaren

 

Meghan MacLaren of England tees off on the 18th hole during the first round of the ISPS Handa World Invitational presented by AVIV Clinics at Galgorm Castle Golf Club on August 11, 2022 in Galgorm, Co Antrim, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

A three-time winner on the Ladies European Tour, Meghan MacLaren is as talented a writer as she is golfer. The English player won eight times at Florida International University before turning professional. MacLaren, 28, finished seventh in this year's season-long Race to Costa del Sol on the LET.

Nataliya Guseva

Third-year Miami sophomore Nataliya Guseva is currently 88th in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings. The Moscow native won the Women's Eastern Amateur over the summer and finished second in the Georgia Open. She was runner-up in her last collegiate event, the Hurricane Invitational.

Aline Krauter

 

Aline Krauter of Germany watches her tee shot on the fifth hole during the second round of the Dana Open presented by Marathon at Highland Meadows Golf Club on September 02, 2022 in Sylvania, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

After helping Stanford win its second NCAA title, Germany's Aline Krauter advanced through the first two stages of LPGA Q-School. She recently competed in two LPGA events on sponsor exemptions, finishing T-29 at the Dana Open and T-55 at the Pelican Women's Championship. Krauter won the R&A's British Women's Amateur in 2020.

Ashley Lau

Ashley Lau
Ashley Lau  

Ashley Lau during the third day of the 2021 NCAA Women's Golf Championship at the Grayhawk Golf Club on Sunday, May 23, 2021 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo: Michigan Women's Golf)

Ashley Lua, a graduate student at Michigan, leaves Ann Arbor with a decorated career having set a Wolverine single-season scoring average record (71.84) and a record-setting four individual victories. She's also UM's career scoring average leader (73.17; 2019-present). The Malaysian-born Lua graduated with a degree in economics in May. She was named the Big Ten Golfer of the Year in 2022.

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek

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