Instagram sensation Muni He is on her way back to the LPGA after breezing through Q-Series.
Teen phenom Yealimi Noh earned a tour card, too.
So did former University of Arizona standout Haley Moore.
Forty-five players earned LPGA status Saturday at Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina with every one of them taking home a story about their trek through the two-week, 144-hole marathon that constitutes the final stage of the tour’s qualifying tournament.
“Emotions are pretty surreal right now,” Stanford senior Albane Valenzuela said. “It’s a dream come true getting my full LPGA card.”
Valenzuela (T-6) was one of three collegiate amateurs securing LPGA status for next year by finishing among the top 45. She shared the thrill with her college teammate, Andrea Lee, the top women’s amateur in the world, who finished T-30. USC’s Jennifer Chang finished T-9.
Florida’s Sierra Brooks finished T-62 and Florida State’s Frida Kinhult finished T-67. They both won the right to play the Symetra Tour next year.
Chang and Kinhult told Golfweek they intend to forgo the spring collegiate season to turn pro at the start of 2020 and take up the tour status they earned at Q-Series, with Valenzuela, Lee and Brooks saying they remain undecided when they will turn pro. Amateurs making it through have until July 1 to decide to take up tour membership.
Jennifer Kupcho and Maria Fassi were the only amateurs who chose to defer turning pro after earning LPGA privileges in Q-Series last year, with both opting to complete their collegiate careers. The choices worked out well. Kupcho won the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur and Fassi won the NCAA Championship. After turning pro this past summer, each went on to secure their LPGA status for 2020, despite limited starts in the second half of this year.
He won Q-Series, closing out with a 2-under 70 at Pinehurst No. 9, finishing at 21 under overall. That was three shots better than Hee Young Park (70) and six better than Noh (69).
Three-time winner Christina Kim (T-24), Karine Icher (T-26), Emma Talley (T-6) and Kim Kaufman (T-30) were among LPGA veterans improving their status by finishing among the top 45. Those finishes will allow them to compete out of Category 14 of the tour’s priority list next year.