Mariah Stackhouse, eight amateurs among 50 players who advanced to final stage of LPGA qualifying

The same day Lydia Ko collected $2 million at the CME Group Tour Championship, the biggest winner’s check in LPGA history, 50 players took a step closer to having that same opportunity. Stage II of LPGA Qualifying, delayed due to Hurricane Ian, was staged last week at Plantation Golf and Country Club in Venice, Florida.

Becca Huffer and Seulki Lee were co-medalists in the event, which featured a field of 178 players.

“I love accomplishing my goal,” said Huffer, who was an Epson Tour rookie in 2019. “And I’m especially glad for a day like today where the back nine was just rain and wind and nastiness, that I put myself in the position to not have to worry too much about it. That was great, and I’m very excited to play at Q-Series.”

LPGA veteran Mariah Stackhouse, fellow Stanford alum Aline Krauter and two-time U.S. Women’s Amateur Kristen Gillman were also among the 50 who advanced through to the final stage, which will be held in December over the span of two weeks in Alabama.

“I think the course, considering all the weather they got over the last month or two, was in great shape,” said Gillman, who finished 175th in CME rankings.

“I know that they worked really hard to get it back to where we can play. I think the course is in great shape and it was fun to play.”

Becca Huffer tees off in Stage II of LPGA qualifying. (courtesy LPGA)

Eight amateurs also advanced and will have until noon on Tuesday to let the LPGA know if they intend to play in Q-Series. This year, LPGA rules state that only professionals can compete in the final stage. Those amateurs include collegiate players Valeria Plata (Michigan State), Ashley Lau (Michigan), Hsin-Yu Lu (Oregon), Jenny Bae (Georgia) and Nataliya Guseva (Miami).

Bailey Shoemaker, a high school senior and USC commit, missed the cut by one. Former LPGA player Haley Moore closed with a 78 to fall below the cutline at T-65. Bobbi Stricker, eldest daughter of PGA Tour winner Steve Stricker, also did not advance.

Everyone who completed four rounds received limited Epson Tour status.

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek