Q-Series decisions: Michigan’s Ashley Lau turning pro; Georgia’s Jenny Bae returning
When LPGA changed its Q-Series rules earlier this year by requiring amateurs to turn professional prior to competing in the final stage of the tour’s qualifying school, many college coaches applauded the move. The new requirement, those coaches agreed, would persuade more collegians to stay in school instead of leaving their teams midseason.
On Sunday, five current Division I players advanced through second stage of Q-School, each leaving themselves with a big decision to make: turn pro and keep chasing an LPGA card, or remain in college and still have the option to compete as an amateur on the Epson Tour next year. Their decisions would need to be quick, too, as the postponed second stage left just eight days before the start of Q-Series; the deadline would be noon Tuesday.
GolfChannel.com has learned that at least one player, Michigan fifth-year senior Ashley Lau, has opted to turn professional and officially enter Q-Series.
Lau, who sits No. 37 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, was a two-time All-American for the Wolverines, including a first-teamer last season as she won three individual titles. For her career, Lau notched four wins among 14 top-10s. She played in four of five tournaments this fall, with the event she missed snapping a 40-start streak at Michigan.
Meanwhile, Georgia head coach Josh Brewer has confirmed that his All-American, Jenny Bae, will remain amateur and rejoin the Bulldogs for the spring.
Oregon’s Cynthia Lu, Michigan State’s Valery Plata and Miami’s Nataliya Guseva are the other three Division I players who advanced out of second stage. Lu is expected to stay, though GolfChannel.com is still awaiting official decisions from all three.
The first half of Q-Series begins Monday at Magnolia Grove Golf Course in Mobile, Alabama. The second 72 holes, granted to the top 70 and ties, will compete for LPGA cards Dec. 5-11 at Highland Oaks Golf Course in Dothan, Alabama.
The top 20 and ties earn LPGA status in Category 14 while the remaining finishers within the top 45 and ties get LPGA status in Category 15.