When players talk about Q School, there is no fondness involved. Playing for your card is stressful work. No one feels that more right now than the 75 players who advanced out of the first four rounds of LPGA Q School, called Q Series, last weekend and face another four rounds beginning on Thursday. Here’s who’s playing, what they’re playing for and everything else you need to know about the last official LPGA event of 2022.
Q Series resumes at Highland Oaks Golf Course in Dothan, Ala., where 45 LPGA Tour cards are up for grabs. Players want to finish in the top 20, as that earns them Category 14 status. Those finishing in 21st-45th place earn Category 15 status and a full spot on the Epson Tour. Of course, the better your status, the more events you’ll get into. The more events you get into, the more chances you have to finish high enough on the CME Points list to keep your card for the next year—and avoid another trip to Q Series. Everyone in the field who finishes worse than 45th receives Epson Tour status.
Since scores from the first four rounds carry over into the final four, Lauren Hartlage is the halfway leader at 14 under par with four players (Luna Sobron Galmes, Polly Mack, Manon De Roey and Riley Rennell) lurking one shot behind her. Hartlage, 24, played on the LPGA in 2022; her best finish solo finish was T-36 at the AmazingCre Portland Classic.
The remaining field, in which 26 countries are represented, includes some names LPGA fans are likely familiar with, including Bianca Pagdanganan. The 25-year-old, currently T-17, has been to Q Series twice before, earning her card each time. On the LPGA, she’s one of the longest hitters out there. There are more seasoned LPGA veterans competing, too. Kim Kaufman, currently T-47, played six years on the LPGA Tour and has spent the last three on the Epson Tour.
And then of course, there are players you’re less likely to know—unless you’re an avid college golf fan. The top-ranked newcomer is Valery Plata, who just turned pro and will start the final four rounds of Q Series at T-11, three off the lead. Plata grew up in Colombia and played college golf at Michigan State, where she had the lowest scoring average on her team her sophomore, junior and senior years. Another college standout, Aline Krauter, a member of Stanford’s 2022 NCAA championship squad, also made it to the final four rounds. She’s T-41 as play begins in Alabama.
There are five teenagers who made it to the final four rounds of Q Series, one being Alexa Pano, a junior golf star who made it on the number. She turned professional after the 2022 Augusta National Women’s Amateur and will be looking to move up the leaderboard in Alabama. She starts play four shots out of the top 45.