Q-Series preview: Field, format changes, what's at stake

JLPGA Final Pro Test - Final Round
JLPGA Final Pro Test - Final Round

The marathon for LPGA status begins Thursday.

The LPGA’s Q-Series, the six-round final stage of its qualifying school, runs through Tuesday at Magnolia Grove Golf Course in Mobile, Alabama. Of the 104 players teeing it up in the event, which this year reduced its format from eight rounds played over two weeks at two different sites, the top 45 finishers and ties with earn LPGA cards. The top 20 and ties will play out of Category 14 in 2024 while the rest of those earning LPGA membership will play out of Category 15.

Those finishing outside the top 45 and ties will still have Epson Tour status.

After four rounds, there will be a cut, though the LPGA hasn't formally announced how many players will advanced to the final two rounds.

Here is a closer look at the field:

• Three former LPGA winners will compete: Annie Park, who was a U.S. Solheim Cupper in 2019; Christina Kim, a three-time winner; and Cydney Clanton, who also has won three times on the Epson Tour.

• In addition to Park, there are two other Q-Series entrants who were members of U.S. Solheim Cup teams since 2019: Yealimi Noh (2021) and Mina Harigae (2021).

• Japan’s Saki Baba, last year’s U.S. Women’s Amateur champion, turned professional following Stage II so she could play Q-Series, a stipulation that was introduced last year.

• Three college players advanced through Stage II and chose to turn professional to compete in Q-Series: Oregon’s Briana Chacon, Clemson’s Savannah Grewal and Tulsa’s Lilly Thomas. (Five seniors decided to defer their Epson Tour status and return to school – LSU’s Ingrid Lindblad, Florida State’s Charlotte Heath, Oklahoma State’s Maddison Hinson-Tolchard, Texas A&M’s Jennie Park and Colorado’s Sabrina Iqbal.)

• Chacon, Grewal and Thomas are three of seven Q-Series entrants who started at Stage I. The other four: Tsu-Yi Chang, Benedetta Moresco, Malia Nam and Jiaze Sun.

• Fifteen players who advanced through Q-Series last year and were LPGA rookies in 2023 are back, including Lucy Li, Gabriella Then, Aline Krauter, Samantha Wagner and Hyo Joon Jang.

• Ladies European Tour points champion Trichat Cheenglab is one of four top-10 players in this year’s final Race to Costa del Sol standings at Q-Series. Diksha Dagar (No. 3), Ana Pelaez Trivino (No. 5) and Alexandra Forsterling (No. 8) are the other three.

Emma Spitz, Yu-Sang Hou, Jenny Bae and Gurleen Kaur are among the recent NCAA All-Americans in the field.