The LPGA Has Had Better Q-Schools...

I’m not sure why the concept of Q-School has drifted so far. At one times tours had a season-ending tournament where players shooting the lowest score got a card for the following year. Sometimes it took a few stages and some terrible stress to get there, but it all worked pretty well.

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We know by now how the PGA Tour has turned their legendary Q-School into a Tour field filler, and this year it was the LPGA Tour’s turn to make everyone scratch their heads with exemptions for college players.

Seven of the eight amateurs who qualified for the eight-round finals earned full status for 2019, meaning they will skip the spring. With the top five women in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings given an opportunity, their likely imminent departures will be a tough blow for college golf and not necessarily the way to run a Q-School. At least one player—naturally a Bruin—was not comfortable with the effort to expedite pro careers.

From Beth Ann Nichols’ report for Golfweek:

“You’re kind of making the decision for them,” said Kristy McPherson, a South Carolina grad and LPGA veteran who earned back her card at this week’s Q-Series.

UCLA’s Patty Tavatanakit (above) was in the running for College Player of the Year last year as a freshman. She actually hesitated in coming to Pinehurst at all for Q-Series.

“My heart and soul was not in this tournament,” said Tavatanakit, who told her dad as much after the third round.

And now there is the headline-making story of a player’s mother spotted moving a ball from out-of-bounds to in-bounds. Randall Mell on the DQ of Doris Chen, the 2014 NCAA Champion.

An LPGA source familiar with the information provided for the ruling told that a homeowner along the course who was watching the event observed the infraction and provided a description of the woman he saw moving Chen’s ball. The LPGA, the source said, later identified the woman as Chen’s mother, Yuh-Guey Lin.

Chen won the NCAA Championship while at USC in 2014. In three seasons on the Symetra Tour, she has combined to make just $12,050.

Chen couldn’t be reached for comment.

That all said, there were success stories noted here by Golf World’s Ryan Herrington.