Over the span of two days last week, University of Florida senior Sierra Brooks (Orlando, Florida) and 17-year-old Lucy Li (Redwood Shores, California) announced their decision to turn professional and play on the Epson Tour in 2020. Less than a week removed from a tied for 62nd finish at LPGA Q-Series in Pinehurst, N.C., Brooks will forgo her final semester of eligibility with the Gators. A winner of three college tournaments during her time in Gainesville, she leaves the UF women’s golf program with a career scoring average of 72.34. Brooks also finished runner-up at the 2019 NCAA Division I National Championships.
“Bittersweet is the word I’d use to describe my decision to forgo the spring season at UF,” said Brooks. “It was tough knowing I wouldn’t be able to finish out senior year with my team, have a shot at a National Championship and miss other events like the ANWA. I am extremely excited to begin the next part of my journey as a pro on the Epson Tour and beyond grateful for the opportunities that UF has given me. Having access to first-class facilities for school and golf, along with my coaches’ expertise, team camaraderie and playing in the best collegiate events around the country allowed me to grow to the point where I’m ready to take the next step in my career.”
As for Li, she finished in a tie for 72nd at Stage II of the LPGA Qualifying Tournament last month to secure Epson Tour status. Due to LPGA Tour age regulations, she was not eligible to advance to Q-Series. In 2014, Li became to youngest to qualify for the U.S. Women’s Open when she competed at the age of 11. A member of the victorious 2018 U.S. Curtis Cup Team, Li once climbed as high as No. 3 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. She also played for the U.S. Junior Ryder Cup team in 2016 and 2018, as well as the U.S. Junior Solheim Cup team in 2017 and 2019, helping the Americans to a title each time.
“I’m super excited to take the next step in my new journey,” Li said. “I can’t wait to play Epson [Tour] next year and I know that I will learn a lot and gain more experience under my belt. My game feels good and I’m really looking forward to the new challenges that will come my way.”
Both players will pursue an LPGA Tour card for 2021 through the Epson Tour next year. As the official qualifying tour of the LPGA, membership on the LPGA Tour is annually awarded to the top-10 individuals on the Volvik Race for the Card money list at the end of the season.