Ariya Jutanugarn's petition to enter Q-School this year has been denied by the LPGA. Jutanugarn, who is 16 years old, will turn 17 on November 23rd. The LPGA rule states that a player must turn 18 years old by January 1 to be eligible for the qualifying process.
Ariya's primary reason for filing this petition was that her sister Moriya Jutanugarn, 17 and turning 18 on July 28, is going to Q-School and the younger sister wants to play alongside her older sister.
"I feel sad because they tell me I'm too young," Jutanugarn said. "I think I have a chance to qualify at Q-School for the LPGA, I just want to try."
Lexi Thompson, who filed at the same age as Ariya, was granted permission last year by the LPGA. Lexi went on to win the first phase of Q-School by 10 shots. She then won the LPGA Navistar Classic and was given her LPGA card by commissioner Michael Whan.
Ariya is a very good player, already better than her older sister. In her two starts on the LPGA this year, she finished T12 at the Honda LPGA Thailand Championship and T22 at the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
That said, I still agree with the decision. The LPGA will still be there for her a year from now.
Lexi Thompson was an exception to the rule, as she proved by setting a record in winning on the LPGA at 16 years of age. If Ariya had won on the LPGA Tour, then the commissioner would have been forced to do the same.