Stanford standout Albane Valenzuela announced Nov. 12 she is turning professional and will take up the LPGA Tour membership she earned through 2019 Q-Series.
In a post on Instagram, Valenzuela explained her decision to turn pro after three years at Stanford.
I am excited to announce my decision to turn professional and accept my LPGA status for the 2020 season. As a result of the opportunities that were given to me through my Q-Series and the possibility of returning to the Olympics, I am thrilled to start a new chapter in my life and pursue my longtime aspiration of playing on tour.
My decision to leave the Stanford golf team has been one the most difficult I have had to make in my career. Stanford has been the greatest gift I have ever received as it has taught me lessons that go beyond the classroom and pitch. I have learned new definitions of what teamwork, friendship, and dedication look like based on my experience as a part of this program; invaluable lessons that have prepared me to take on this next step in my journey.
The decision to pursue professional golf is not abandoning what I was fortunate enough to experience at Stanford University. Instead, it is precisely what I have learned at Stanford in the past three years that have convinced me to embrace this moment. It was at Stanford where I was taught and inspired by pacesetting intellectuals and world-changing entrepreneurs to have the courage to direct my life with dedication and passion. I have been an aspiring student-athlete stepping in the footprints of giants that have contributed to Stanford’s legacy; it is finally my moment to carve my own path.
I am eternally thankful for my teammates, my coach, Anne Walker, my assistant coaches Lauren Dobashi and Maddie Sheils and all of the people that have made my Stanford experience so unique. I could have never asked for a better place to pursue my academic and athletic endeavors and will continue to proudly represent our colors for the rest of my career.
I will always be a lifelong Stanford Cardinal and a proud member of the Stanford women’s golf team. I will miss being part of this team that I call family but will always be there to support them and hope to remain a positive influence for our program.
And today, I am thrilled to embark on the new journey in life that is professional golf.
Valenzuela earned LPGA Tour status through Category 14 with a T-6 finish in the eight-round 2019 LPGA Q-Series in Pinehurst, N.C. As a result of qualifying for LPGA membership, she had to choose whether to accept her membership immediately for the start of the 2020 season and turn pro or to defer the membership until after the collegiate golf season in 2020, which would have limited the timeframe she had to retain her card.
The Stanford senior was one of a number of amateurs to earn LPGA or Symetra Tour status through Q-Series.
Valenzuela, who plays under the Swiss flag, competed in the 2016 Olympic women's golf tournament, finishing T-21 in the 60-player event at the Olympic golf course in Rio de Janeiro. She would likely qualify again for the Tokyo games in 2020, bolstered by her status as a professional. She is currently ranked No. 426 in the Rolex Women's World Golf Ranking.