Taylor to leave Baylor, attempt to secure LET card
Baylor will be without the services of Lauren Taylor this coming college golf season following the English player’s decision to try to gain a Ladies European Tour card for next year.
Taylor enjoyed a successful freshman year at Baylor last season. She notched up one victory in her rookie year, the Big 12 Women's Golf Championship, finished the season being named to the All-Big 12 Women's Golf Team and earned the Big 12 Freshman of the Year award. The 18-year-old closed out the season ranked 46th on the Golfweek/Sagarin college rankings.
Taylor, winner of the 2011 Ladies’ British Amateur Championship at Royal Portrush, made the decision to leave Baylor shortly after narrowly missing out on playing in this year’s Ricoh Women’s British Open at St. Andrews. She was involved in a playoff for spots into the championship at final qualifying at Kingsbarns. She failed to qualify but was first alternate. She traveled to St. Andrews in the hope of someone pulling out, but waited in vain for nearly nine hours beside the first tee before returning to her home in Northampton.
“I’d been thinking about turning pro for a while,” Taylor told Golfweek. “I’ve been playing quite well since I got back from college and feel I’m ready. I want to be a pro golfer. I don’t want to stay amateur for another three years.
“I really enjoyed my time at Baylor. I made a lot of great friends and had a lot of good experiences. I feel my game got better in the time I was there. Naturally Jay (Baylor coach Jay Goble) tried to change my mind and is disappointed, but he was really understanding and wished me the best of luck.”
Taylor is a close friend of Charley Hull, this year’s LET success story. They are both members of Woburn Golf Club, Ian Poulter’s home club. Hull posted five seconds in her first five starts on the LET this season and earned a place on the European Solheim Cup team. Taylor said Hull’s success was not behind her decision to jump to the pro ranks early.
“Obviously I’ve seen what Charley has done this year. It’s been great to watch her and I’m really pleased for her, but she wasn’t the major influence on my decision,” Taylor said. “She’s done things her way and I’m doing things my way. As a player you have to make decisions that are best for you, not just follow what someone else has done. I feel this is the best decision for my career. I want to be a professional golfer. I don’t think waiting another three years as an amateur is going to help much. I’ve discussed it with my mum and dad and they are very supportive of my decision.”
Taylor will remain amateur for the rest of the season and play amateur events and the LET’s Access Series, the LET’s feeder tour. She will gain a full card for next year’s LET if she finishes top five on the LET Access Series order of merit. She has six events to try to achieve that goal. If not she will enter LET Q School.
If she can get her amateur ranking higher than top 25 from the amateur events she plays for the remainder of the season, then she gets straight into the LET Q-School without having to pre-qualify. She is currently 75th in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking.