“Q” School is ongoing for the Korn Ferry and LPGA Tours. Let’s take a look at how players with local connections have fared thus far.

The ultimate goal for all aspiring professionals is the PGA Tour, but that is a tough road. To get to the promised land, they must first make it to the Korn Ferry Tour, which is no easy task. Up to four stages of “Q” School must first be successfully navigated, beginning with pre-qualifying. Get through all four levels, then you must finish in the top 25 on the money list over a season of events to earn a PGA Tour card or make it through via the Korn Ferry Tour playoffs, if you make those fields.

First Stage has now concluded and locals who have successfully advanced include former Crimson Tide golfers Steven Setterstrom, Hunter Hamrick, Jonathan Hardee and Dru Love, with Scott Strohmeyer and Cory Whitsett not making it through.

Other locals to advance include former Auburn golfers Jacob Solomon, Michael Johnson, Trace Crowe and Michael Hebert, with Daniel Stringfellow, Ben Schlottman, Matthew Perrine, Glenn Northcutt and Will Long not advancing.

Former UAB golfers moving on include Taylor Eyster, Will Cannon and Garrett Osborn, with Sam Love and John Hayden not doing so.

Other locals also moving on are Stewart Jolly and Conner Godsey, with Jacob Harper, Casey O’Toole, Jared Bettcher, Zachary Portemont, Patrick Twesme, Wesley Hunter, Patrick Martin, Blake Olson, Paul McClure, Jeff Curl and Ryan Gildersleeve among those missing out.

Second Stage is slated for late October/early November at five countrywide sites including the RTJ Golf Trail’s Highland Oaks in Dothan, with the big daddy, Final Stage, set for Dec. 12-15 in Florida.

Players with local ties already guaranteed Korn Ferry Tour status next year include Wade Binfield (Central Alabama Community College), UAB’s Zack Sucher (also has PGA Tour status), Auburn’s Blayne Barber, and former UA golfers Davis Riley and Lee Hodges. This is based on them finishing between 26 and 75 on the points list this year.

Former UA standout Robby Shelton earned his PGA Tour card by finishing third on the Korn Ferry regular season points list, as did former CACC golfer Chase Seiffert, who finished 14th.

 

LPGA Tour

“Q” School for the LPGA Tour is also ongoing, with former UA golfers Lakareber Abe, Jiwon Jeon and Mia Landegren at Stage II, which concluded on Thursday, along with Spanish Fort’s Elaine Wood.

The top 30, which included Abe and Jeon, moved on to the final Q Series, joining previously exempt players including former UA standouts Emma Talley and Janie Jackson, along with former AU golfer Marta Sanz Barrio and former Troy golfer Fatima Fernandez Cano, and which features two weeks (eight rounds) of competition from Oct. 21-Nov. 2 at Pinehurst Resort.

They will all be trying to join former Crimson Tide golfers Kristen Gillman, Cheyenne Knight, Lauren Stephenson and Stephanie Meadow, and former AU golfer Cydney Clanton, as fully exempt LPGA Tour members in 2020.

 

Ian Thompson has been writing about golf in Alabama for over 26 years. His weekly “Mr. Golf” column concentrates on golfers, golf events and people associated with the sport of interest to the Tuscaloosa and Birmingham areas. Reach him with story ideas at thompsonteesoff@gmail.com.