Q-School set to begin, but future of Ladies European Tour remains unclear

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Q-School set to begin, but future of Ladies European Tour remains unclear

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Q-School set to begin, but future of Ladies European Tour remains unclear

Imagine applying for your dream job only to find out that, if you get the job, you won’t know how many weeks a year you’re going to work. Imagine your potential employer telling you there’s just four weeks work to start with, but they’re hoping to give you more work in the weeks and months to follow. 

Oh, and you have to pay $1,500 to apply for this mystery work. 

That’s what attendees at the 2018 Ladies European Tour Qualifying School have done. The Q School, which takes place Friday-Wednesday in Morocco, features 108 players who’ve stumped up $1,500 for the chance of gaining one of 25 cards for the 2018 Ladies European Tour.

Whether it’s a wise investment is a moot point. The LET has just gone through one of its worst seasons. The chief executive was ousted in August and hasn’t been replaced. Seven tournaments fell off the schedule, reducing the number of events to 16. Rumors abounded that the tour had lost $1.5 million and was close to collapse, rumors the tour denies. 

Things are so dire the complete 2018 schedule hasn’t been announced. Only the first four events of next year’s LET season have been published. These are co-sanctioned events with the Australian Ladies Professional Golf Tour. 

The LPGA has just released a 34-tournament 2018 schedule worth a record $68.5 million, a $3.25-million increase on this year. No wonder Europe’s top stars play on the LPGA. That’s where 2016 LET Q School winner Madelaine Sagstrom concentrated her efforts this year. 

Israel’s Valdis Thora Jonsdottir took the number two card at last year’s Q School. She played just nine LET tournaments this year. Alexandra Bonetti of France earned the 10th card and played seven times. Lauren Taylor, the 2011 Ladies British Amateur champion, finished 21st and teed it up on six occasions. Italy’s Lucrezia Colombotto Rosso got one of the last cards and played just three times. Those numbers explain why many potential stars are giving up the game.

Bonetti, Taylor and Colombotto Rosso are back at this year’s school hoping to earn one of the 25 cards. Where they’re going to play and for how much money remains a mystery.

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