The number of Australian women on the LPGA and its secondary Epson Tour looks set to grow after five Australian players advanced to the second stage after Stage 1 of the Qualifying Tournament in California.
The top-95 and ties from Rancho Mirage, California advanced with West Australian Maddison Hinson-Tolchard the best of the Aussie contingent to make it through as she chases status on the top women’s circuit.
Hinson-Tolchard (pictured), an amateur who played the US Women’s Open at Pebble Beach this year, owns arguably the most remarkable advancement story after she recorded an 11 at a par 4 during the second round of the four-round event.
Finishing at 5-under and in a tie for 33rd, the Oklahoma State University player was able to recover from her disaster at the 12th hole on Tuesday to sign for an even-par 72 at the Mission Hills Arnold Palmer Course that shared host duties with Indian Wells’ Classic Course and former major championship venue, the Dinah Shore Course at Mission Hills.
Hinson-Tolchard will now tee it up at Stage 2 of qualifying at Plantation Golf and Country Club in Florida from October 17-20 with the hopes of advancing to the six-round Q Series staged at Magnolia Grove Golf Course in Alabama from November 30-December 5.
Ranked No.36 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, Hinson-Tolchard will be joined at second stage by fellow Australians Amy Chu (T55), Emily Mahar (T55), amateur Darcy Habgood (T55) and Jordan O’Brien (T70).
Advancing to the next round is the first step, with the Australian fivesome all determined to make the cut at the final Q Series stop.
Teeing it up against players losing their status from the LPGA and from the Ladies European and Epson Tour money lists, the top-20 and ties earn 2024 LPGA Tour status in Category 14.
Meanwhile, positions 21-45 and ties gain 2024 LPGA Tour status in Category 15 and 2024 Epson Tour status in Category C, while players finishing outside the top-45 and ties will earn Epson Tour status for 2024. - Jimmy Emanuel
Photo: Monica Marchesani/Golf Australia