Several top college players still weighing the options after LPGA Q-Series

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Several top college players still weighing the options after LPGA Q-Series

LPGA Tour

Several top college players still weighing the options after LPGA Q-Series

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PINEHURST, N.C. – Five top-ranked college players teed it up at LPGA Q-Series. So far, two have decided to forgo the spring semester and turn professional at the start of 2020.

USC’s Jennifer Chang, who hails from nearby Cary, North Carolina, told her coach before the start of the event that she planned to turn professional regardless of where she finished. Chang took a share of ninth at Pinehurst No. 9 to earn full status on the LPGA in 2020.

“I don’t even know what to say,” said Chang. “I mean, I thought after bogeying that last hole I was going to come close to this cut line as far as the top 20 goes.

“I saw my coach and my family and they were like, ‘You got in!’ So, yeah, I’m so happy. Tears of joy.”

Actually, everyone in Chang’s families had tears of joy.

The top 45 players earned LPGA status for next season. The higher the finish within the top 45, the better the chance of starts.

Frida Kinhult, a sophomore at Florida State, didn’t earn LPGA status but has decided to turn professional and compete on the Symetra Tour. She will not compete for the Seminoles in the spring.

“It hasn’t been my ‘A’ game,” said Kinhult, “but a year on the Symetra Tour will be helpful to learn everything. Hopefully I can get to the big tour from there.”

Stanford’s two best players were in the field: seniors Albane Valenzuela and Andrea Lee.

Valenzuela tied for sixth to earn a full LPGA card but has yet to decide when she will turn professional. Beginning last year, players had the chance to defer their LPGA cards until after the NCAA Championship in May.

“I’ve never almost had tears of joy after a round,” said Valenzuela, “even after winning.”

Valenzuela said she plans to lay out all her options but will finish her degree at Stanford regardless.

“I think right now I need to sleep,” said the Swiss player. “I can’t think straight. It doesn’t feel real so far.”

Lee, the top-ranked amateur in the world, tied for 30th and will have limited status on the LPGA. Lee said she didn’t have the game this week to be in the top 20, noting that her ball-flight was too low.

“I’m just relieved that it’s over,” said Lee, who is undecided about when she’ll turn professional.

Florida’s Sierra Brooks rounded out the fivesome. She too failed to earn any LPGA status for 2020, taking a share of 62nd. Brooks will graduate with her degree in 2020 at the end of the summer session.

“I still have a lot to think about,” said Brooks. “It would’ve been a little bit clearer if I had gotten my LPGA card.”

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