Temperature dives, decisions loom as LPGA Q-Series approaches 8th round

Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Temperature dives, decisions loom as LPGA Q-Series approaches 8th round

Golf

Temperature dives, decisions loom as LPGA Q-Series approaches 8th round

By

PINEHURST, N.C. – Albane Valenzuela came back to Pinehurst No. 9 to practice Thursday afternoon in shorts and a T-shirt. That was but a distant memory by Friday morning, when temperatures dipped into the mid-30s at LPGA Q-Series.

“It was freezing cold,” said Valenzuela, who is Swiss.

Yealimi Noh regretted not having a beanie and Christina Kim busted out a stylish pair of white earmuffs.

Expect more of the same in the eighth and final round, where tee times have been pushed back due to the possibility of frost.

Valenzuela, a Stanford senior, sits in a share of fifth with USC’s Jennifer Chang. While Chang, a local from Cary, North Carolina, has already decided that she’s turning professional, Valenzuela faces a big decision. She can turn professional and forgo her final semester of college, starting on the tour in January, or defer until after the NCAA Women’s Championship, like Jennifer Kupcho and Maria Fassi did last year.

SCORES: LPGA Q-school leaderboard

“Honestly, I still have one round to go,” said Valenzuela, “and I’m just going to play tomorrow and we’ll see how tomorrow goes. I think that my whole mindset was like, you know, there is nothing you can do before it finishes. It’s a lot of ‘ifs’ up in the air.

“But one thing is for sure, I’m going to get my Stanford degree. That’s something I’m very fortunate and grateful for. It’s an amazing opportunity, so I’m definitely going to get that.”

A 5-over 77 dropped Andrea Lee, college golf’s top-ranked player, to a share of 35th. The top 45 players and ties earn LPGA status for 2020, but those finishing outside the top 20 will have limited starts at the beginning of the season. The higher the finish within the top 45, the more chances to play.

Players from Nos. 20 to 45 will also have Symetra status for next season.

Muni He continues to pace the field at 19-under 481. She’s three ahead of Hee Young Park and seven clear of 18-year-old Yealimi Noh.

“So I definitely missed a lot of cuts at the beginning of the year,” He said of her rookie year on the LPGA. “It was really challenging for me mentally. Now that I’ve kind of overcome that and have it a little more figured out, I look back and I’m like, ‘OK, I’m really glad I went through that. I needed to go through it. I needed that learning curve to know what’s best for me.’ ”

Haley Moore matched the day’s low round, 69, and holds a share of eighth. She was paired with former Arizona teammate Bianca Pagdanganan, who’s in a share of 18th after a 72.

South Korean amateur Kum-Kang Park, 18, also carded a 72 and is in a share of 35th.

Latest

More Golfweek
Home