“It is truly an exciting time as the LPGA Qualifying Tournament continues the process of finding the next wave of LPGA Tour rising stars,” said Heather Daly-Donofrio, Chief Operations Officer of the LPGA Tour. “This is the second of three Q-School stops to determine LPGA and Symetra Tour status for 2020. Every competitor comes to Venice hoping to advance to Q-Series and get one step closer to fulfill their dream of one day playing on the LPGA Tour. We can’t wait to find out who makes up that group next month.”
Individuals will battle in a 72-hole stroke play format featuring no cut. Furthermore, a minimum of the top-30 players and ties will advance to LPGA Q-Series contested from Oct. 23 to Nov. 2 in Pinehurst, N.C. at Pinehurst Resort. Those at the next score, or scores, will also move on provided the total number of players in Q-Series does not exceed 108 which currently has 60 exempt and entered competitors.
“Definitely hurt not finishing out the [Symetra Tour] season as strong as I wanted and moving out of the top-35 on the money list,” said Gigi Stoll (Beaverton, Oregon), who finished at No. 36 in the Volvik Race for the Card just $100 shy of automatic exemption into Q-Series. “Going to Stage II is my new focus and it’s another stepping-stone in the process. I’m excited to take this week as an opportunity to play good golf and finish on a better note.”
Action begins at 8:00 a.m. ET all four days with the rotation Bobcat Course-Panther Course to be used in the first two rounds. Meanwhile, the entire field will be re-paired by score and divided in half for round three with lower scores playing the Panther Course and higher scores playing the Bobcat Course. Ties will be broken by the lowest, most recent round to determine which course an individual will play in the third round.
For the final round, players will alternate the course played in round three and be re-paired by score. For example, if a player starts the third round on the Bobcat Course, she will be re-paired by score and play the Panther Course in the final round.
COUNTRIES (AND STATES) OF STAGE II
A total of 32 countries are represented this week at Stage II of the LPGA Qualifying Tournament, led by the United States with 85 players then followed by Canada and the Republic of Korea at the next highest of 10 competitors apiece.
“It is fun to see so many Canadians playing Stage II and also was motivating that five played full-time on the LPGA this year,” said Valerie Tanguay (Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada), who made 11 starts on the Symetra Tour as a rookie this year with a season-best tied for 17th result at the IOA Championship. “That inspired me to believe I can get there too. I played a practice round with fellow Canadian Brittany Marchand the other day and just love representing my country, as well as all the support we get.”
Individuals from 23 different states are also set to tee it up in Sarasota County. Seven players hail from the host state, while California boasts the most with 15.
“Even though I don’t get to stay at home, it feels like home,” said Jessy Tang (Orlando, Florida), a central Florida native who resides just 135 miles up the road from the host venue. “I grew up playing on gnarly Thai Bermuda grass and my collegiate career was honed on Florida Bermuda. I love the difficulty of grain and unexpectedness of grass on Florida golf courses. The chance to try and get back to the LPGA Tour is very exciting. Q-School is a marathon, but I’m prepared for the challenge and look forward to the week.”
LI TO START FOUNDATION WITH PROFESSIONAL RANKS CALLING
She may be gearing up for her first taste of Q-School and one of the youngest individuals competing at 17 years old, but Lucy Li (Redwood Shores, California) has big plans in her future both on and off the golf course.
As the professional ranks beckon, Li has no timetable for her announcement on making the leap. While she is still determining the right moment for a decision, one thing is for sure and that is how Li will make an impact outside the ropes.
“I’m going to start a foundation giving back to junior golf part of my earnings from events I play,” said Li, who first got started in golf at the age of 7. “It is such a great sport and I really want more kids to play, especially with how many opportunities come through it. I’m going to take the time from now until next season starts to really figure things out with help from my family.”
One of four individuals not eligible to advance to Q-Series due to LPGA Tour age regulations, Li will earn Symetra Tour membership for 2020 after finishing 72 holes at Plantation Golf & Country Club. The three others include Mohan Du (Fujian, China), as well as amateurs Min A Yoon (Seoul, Republic of Korea) and Yae Eun Hong (Seoul, Republic of Korea).
“I’m excited to be playing here and really looking forward to the Symetra Tour next year, then hopefully take that jump to the next level,” Li said. “There are so many people that have been through so many different things. It is good to be around some old friends I haven’t seen in a while, should be a fun week. I have lots of experience in big events to give me confidence and make sure I don’t get ahead of myself.”