Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Look Who's Playing in LPGA Q-School's 1st Stage

Some of the bigger names in the preliminary field list for the 1st stage of LPGA Q-School include Lexi Thompson, Brianna Do (WAPL champion), Stephanie Kono (her UCLA teammate who Do defeated in the quarterfinals), Mitsuki Katahira, Victoria Tanco (back-to-back Rolex Junior Player of the Year on the AJGA and most recently the winner of the Women's Western Amateur), Doris Chen (the '10 U.S. Girls Junior champion), Taylore Karle, Maude-Aimee Leblanc, Junthima Gulyanamitta, and central NY's own Jillian Fraccola, as well as ex-LPGAers Hwanhee Lee and Violeta Retamozo. Good luck to all 132 players in the field right now--if any of them make it into the top 100 of the Rolex Rankings before the end of July, they'll get to skip straight to Stage II at the end of September. So a lot's riding on how Lexi plays at the Broadmoor and perhaps at Evian, as well.


IceCat said...

Thompson has to have at a minimum a Top 20 finish in Colorado to avoid First Stage since one has to be in the Rolex Top 100 on 12 July. Otherwise she faces a choice between contesting First Stage or the Women's British Open (which she's exempt into) immediately after Evian (which she's also exempt into).


Jim C said...

Actually Lexi could also avoid the first stage and every other stage by winning the Evian, and she only lost by one shot last year.

Quite possibly forcing a player as good as Lexi to choose between playing in an LPGA Major and any possibly of going through Q School is really bush league. Any player who can qualify for an LPGA Major held the same week as the Fist Stage should be given an exemption into the Second Stage so she can play in the Major. Of course, if this rule were applied, Lexi would still need to qualify for Ricoh.

The Constructivist said...

I don't see why with so many off weeks, the LPGA decided to schedule the 1st Stage opposite the WBO, which Lexi has (and many other talented amateurs and unaffiliated pros could) qualify for. Lexi could get the LPGA off the hook by playing great at the Broadmoor or winning at Evian, it's true, but this issue should never have arisen in the 1st place. Given that it has, I think Jim C's proposed rule makes sense.

Jim C said...

I think the LPGA created the conflict on purpose. Had this been the case in 2009 Gwladys Nocera would have been forced to choose between LPGA Q School and the British Open. She undoubtedly would have chosen the British. That would have eliminated some of the competition for Q School spots. The rank and file in the LPGA would like to minimize competition from other rank and file players like Gwaldys Nocera. It is only the quirk in the rankings that pushes Lexi's ranking so low since a divsor or 35 is used when she only played in 17 events.