Five women’s college golfers had a decision to make.
Pursue a professional career or return to school for the spring semester? Michigan fifth-year senior Ashley Lau, Oregon junior Cynthia Lu, Georgia senior Jenny Bae, Michigan State senior Valery Plata and Miami sophomore Nataliya Guseva finished in the top 50 at the LPGA’s stage two qualifying last week, meaning a spot in final stage qualifying.
That is, if they turned professional.
This year, LPGA rules stated that only professionals can compete in the final stage. Eight amateurs, including the five college players, had to decide whether to turn professional and forego the spring semester of college golf or return to school and wait to pursue their future.
Oregon’s Lu, a junior, decided to stay in school.
“I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to play in LPGA Q-School stage I & II because it highlighted certain areas of my game that still need work before I turn professional,” Lu told Golfweek in a text. “With that said, I have decided to stay amateur and defer attending the Q-Series. I believe in Coach Derek (Radley) and Coach Monica (Vaughn) who will continue helping and supporting me until I make the decision to turn professional. I am so excited to play this upcoming spring season with my team. Go Ducks.”
Lu is ranked 28th in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings and 35th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. She finished second in the stroke play portion of the East Lake Cup and has the defending runner-up Ducks looking to make another title push this spring.
Senior Jenny Bae is also returning to school, but Lau and Guseva have decided to forego the remainder of their seasons and enter Q-Series. Golfweek has yet to confirm Plata’s decision.
Q-Series begins Monday at Magnolia Grove Golf Course in Mobile, Alabama. The top 70 and ties advance for a 72-hole final for LPGA cards Dec. 5-11 at Highland Oaks Golf Course in Dothan, Alabama.