Four rounds down at 2021 LPGA Q-Series, four rounds to go.
South Carolina alumna Pauline Roussin-Bouchard wrapped a strong showing at Magnolia Grove in Mobile, Ala., finishing her week with a 7-under 65 on the Crossings Course. She remains atop the leaderboard at -19, with Hye-Jin Choi of the Republic of Korea in second at -17. Roussin-Bouchard, who earned medalist honors at Stage II in October, and Choi both returned four rounds in the 60s and head to the second week of Q-Series in prime positions to earn LPGA Tour status for 2022.
“We had a couple wedges into the green and I ended up being very close to the pin with wedges, and even with longer irons,” said Roussin-Bouchard, who won the LET’s 2021 Didriksons Skaftö Open in just her second professional start. “(The course) fitted my game obviously, but my game was very good as a whole, so it helped obviously.”
“I generally liked my overall play this week. There were some mistakes, but it was good overall,” added Choi, who was runner-up at the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open as a 17-year-old amateur.
Australian Stephanie Kyriacou shot the round of the week on Sunday, carding seven birdies and an eagle on Crossings No. 16 for a 9-under 63. “I think everything just clicked,” said Kyriacou, who turned professional after winning the LET’s 2020 Australian Ladies Classic Bonville as a 19-year-old amateur. “Over the last couple days some things were working and some things weren't, and then today they just both were in sync.”
Kyriacou jumped into a tie for fourth, alongside her close friend Atthaya Thititul. Like Kyriacou, Thitikul was victorious on the LET as an amateur, winning her home country’s Ladies European Thailand Championship in 2017 and 2019. The 18-year-old Thai phenom shot a 3-under 69 on Sunday, saying that she was playing it a little safe this week to ensure making it through the first cut.
“Every day here I play really good. Like all four rounds it's really good rounds for me,” said Thitikul, the LET’s 2021 Player and Rookie of the Year. “But it's just like not good with putting a little bit because like the green is pretty tricky here as well. And same like today. I put myself really safe, really safe position for putting.”
Japanese stars Ayaka Furue (-11) and Hinako Shibuno (-6) easily advanced to the second week, with Shibuno bouncing back from two difficult opening rounds that put her below the cut line through 36 holes.
A total of 74 players made the cut at +1 and advanced to the second week of LPGA Q-Series, being held at Highland Oaks Golf Club in Dothan, Ala. LPGA Q-Series is composed of two 72-hole stroke-play events held on consecutive weeks, with scores cumulative over the two weeks. The 2020 competition was not held due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with Jeongeun Lee6 (2018) and Muni He (2019) taking medalist honors at the first two playings.