The final stage of the LPGA Tour's Q-School has changed from 2018 and moving forward. After the initial stages of Q-School were held in more traditional fashion, the LPGA's final stage is now known as the Q-Series.
The LPGA Q-Series will determine the 45 players which graduate from Q-School and earn LPGA Tour status for the coming season in Category 14 of the priority order, giving them access to approximately 60 percent of the schedule for the season (after majors, invitationals and other no-cut events).
LPGA Q-Series format
The Q-Series is different from how the final stage of Q-School previously went. In fact, the Q-Series is longer than the old final stage. Over two weeks, the 110-player field for 2021 will compete in two 72-hole tournaments in consecutive weeks. The cumulative scores from those combined 144 holes will determine the 45 players to earn LPGA status for the new season.
The LPGA Tour Q-Series will unfold at various destinations over the years.
From Dec. 2-5, the first week of Q-Series will be contested on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail's Magnolia Grove in Mobile, Alabama. The second week tournament will be played from Dec. 9-12 on the RTJ Trail in Dothan, Ala. Unlike the first few years of the concept, there is a cut in after the first tournament for the series; meaning the top 70 players and ties after the first 72-hole tournament move on to the second tournament. The fate of LPGA Tour cards is based on the cumulative score for both tournaments.
The players who do not finish in the top 45 and ties will earn Symetra Tour status for their new season. The Q-Series also has an unofficial money purse of $150,000, paid out based on the results of the two combined tournaments.
Who qualified for the LPGA Q-Series
The Q-Series field includes:
- LPGA Tour members ranked 101st through 150th on the 2018 LPGA money list through the Evian Championship
- Symetra Tour members ranked Nos. 11-30 on the season-long money list
- Any non-LPGA member ranked in the top 75 in the Rolex Rankings as of the Stage II entry deadline
- Qualifiers who advanced from Stage II
LPGA Q-School and Q-Series entry fee
Playing in Q-School can be costly, particularly for players seeking to get through Stages 1 and 2, then the Q-Series.
The Stage I entry fee is $2,500, while the Stage II is qualifier is $4,000 for golfers exempt from Stage 1, or $3,000 for those who advanced out of Stage 1. The Q-Series is free for players who already paid a total of $5,500 to advance from Stage 1, and it costs $1,500 for players who began and advanced from Stage 2 (total cost is $4,500). For players who are exempt into Q-Series, there are two entry fees. For LPGA and Symetra Tour players, the Q-Series entry fee is $3,000, but it jumps to $5,500 for non-LPGA members and collegiate golfers seeking LPGA status.
Previous LPGA Q-School formats
Previously, the final stage of LPGA Q-School played out over five rounds at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla. That initial field was larger with the field split each day over two courses. After each player had two rounds on each course, a cut was made for the final round to the top 70 and ties. The top 20 finishers through 90 holes earned status in Category 12, with the next 25 players and ties earning status in Category 17 with access to fewer tournaments.
From 1973-82, the LPGA held two separate Q-Schools. In 1983, there were three. The Q-School then shifted to become a three-stage affair, with feeder qualifying Stages 1 and 2 based on previously held status on the LPGA or Symetra Tours.