Pauline Roussin-Bouchard opted to forgo her final two years of college eligibility and turn professional earlier this year.
It’s proven to be a good decision so far.
A two-time first-team All-American for South Carolina, Roussin-Bouchard tied for fourth in her professional debut at the Symetra Tour’s Four Winds Invitational in August before notching three top-10s on the Ladies European Tour, including a win. She then closed in 7-under 65 Sunday in Venice, Florida, to win Stage II of LPGA Q-School by five shots at 19 under.
Roussin-Bouchard, who already has full LET status, was among 47 players who moved on to the LPGA’s two-week Q-Series, which begins in early December in Alabama (Dec. 2-5 in Mobile and Dec. 9-12 in Dothan).
"It's just a bonus to be here and have that opportunity to play Stage II and for status [at least] on the Symetra Tour,” Roussin-Bouchard told LPGA.com earlier this week. “Then if everything goes right, more in the Q-Series at the end of the year. I went to college to prepare for professional golf and a professional life, but then my college coach told me that if I wanted to, I could turn pro if it would allow me to have better preparation for Q-School and have different tournaments as a professional. She gave me that opportunity, and I'm very grateful for that.”
Others advancing included Linn Grant, who also turned pro early out of Arizona State this summer, and seven current college players: Polly Mack (-7), Alabama; Beatrice Wallin (-6), Florida State; Gina Kim (-6), Duke; Yu-Sang Hou (-4), Arizona; Vivian Hou (-3), Arizona; Karen Fredgaard (-4), Houston; Brooke Matthews (-3), Arkansas.
Those collegians will now have the choice: Leave school this winter and turn pro or defer their status until after the NCAA Championship in May. It’s believed that most – if not all – of them will not return to school.
Xiaowen Yin, 16, and Alexa Pano, 17, finished second and T-10, respectively, but both players do not meet the LPGA's minimum age requirement to play in Q-Series (18) and will receive Symetra Tour status for next year.
Notables not finishing among the top 45 and ties: Ole Miss grad Kennedy Swann (-2), past U.S. Women’s Amateur champion Gabi Ruffels (-2), Ruffels’ former USC teammate Amelia Garvey (even), Australia’s Grace Kim (-1), teenager Lucy Li (+3), Oklahoma State product Maja Stark (+3), sisters Auston Kim (-1) and August Kim (+5) and Arizona State alum Olivia Mehaffey (+16). Those players will all have limited Symetra Tour status by completing 72 holes at second stage.