LPGA Tour Qualifying School (Q-School): Format and Past Winners

Series of qualifying tournaments creates new LPGA members

Ai Miyazato after winning LPGA Q-School in 2005
Ai Miyazato after winning LPGA Q-School in 2005. Scott Halleran/Getty Images

The LPGA Tour Qualifying School (or Q-School, as it commonly known) is a series of qualifying tournaments that has been held annually since 1973. From 1973-82, two different tournaments were held, with two different graduating classes; three tournaments were played in 1983.

Golfers who "graduate" from LPGA Q-School become members of the tour for the coming season. (For example, those who "graduated" from 1990 Q-School earned LPGA Tour membership for the 1991 season.)

2016 LPGA Qualifying School Schedule

  • Stage I: Aug. 25-28, 2016 at Mission Hills Country Club, Rancho Mirage, California. Medalist: a-Daniela Darquea. Final scores (.pdf file)
  • Stage II: Oct. 17-23, 2016 at Plantation Golf and Country Club, Venice, Florida. Medalist: Marianne Skarpnord. Final scores (.pdf file)
  • Stage III: Nov. 30-Dec. 4, 2016 at LPGA International, Daytona Beach, Florida. Medalist: Jaye Marie Green. Final scores (.pdf file)

Official website

How Much Does It Cost to Enter LPGA Q-School?

In 2015, the entry fee for Stage I was $2,500. Additional fees (some larger, some smaller depending on how the golfer qualified) applied for the ensuing stages. See the website linked above for more info.

LPGA Tour Q-School Format

Beginning in 2011, the LPGA Q-School uses a 3-stage qualifying schedule. The first-stage qualifier is open to Symetra Tour members with lower exemption statuses and not ranked in the Top 120 on the tour's money list or inside the Top 300 in the women's world rankings; and also to any other amateurs or professionals (who are not currently LPGA Tour members) ranked outside the Top 300 in the world rankings.

A minimum of the Top 60 players plus ties (exact number determined at time of qualifier) from Stage I advance to the Stage II qualifier. Others eligible for the second-stage qualifier include the Top 5 finishers on the Canadian Women's Tour's Order of Merit; LPGA Tour Class A members who have not competed in an official LPGA tournament in the previous three years; Symetra Tour members inside the Top 120 on the money list or who have higher-ranking exemption statuses (compared to Stage I-eligible golfers); and any other amateurs or professionals (who are not already LPGA Tour members) ranked inside the Top 300 in the world rankings.

The Top 80 plus ties in the second stage advance to the final stage. Those who fail to advance out of the second stage receive Symetra Tour status, as do those who made the cut in Stage I.

The final-stage qualifier includes LPGA members seeking to improve their exemption status; plus the 10 highest-ranking Symetra Tour golfers from the year-end money list who did not automatically earn their LPGA cards via the money list and are not otherwise qualified for Stage III; plus the 70-plus Stage II qualifiers.

How Many Golfers Earn LPGA Tour Membership?

The top finishers at the final stage receive LPGA membership, but that number is determined on a year-by-year basis. (It is often in the neighborhood of 20 golfers.) All others who make the cut get Symetra Tour status.

LPGA Tour Q-School Winners

Here is the list of medalists from past LPGA Tour Qualifying Schools:

2016 - Jaye Marie Green
2015 - Simin Feng
2014 - Minjee Lee, Alison Lee
2013 - Jaye Marie Green
2012 - Rebecca Lee-Bentham, Moriya Jutanugarn
2011 - Junthima Gulyanamitta
2010 - Aree Song
2009 - Amanda Blumenherst
2008 - Stacy Lewis
2007 - Jane Park
2006 - Hye Jung Choi, In-Kyung Kim
2005 - Ai Miyazato
2004 - Paula Creamer
2003 - Iben Tinning, Isabelle Beisiegel, Catherine Cartwright
2002 - Marilyn Lovander
2001 - Suzanne Strudwick
2000 - Sue Ginter (Ginter-Brooker)
1999 - Kellee Booth
1998 - Shanie Waugh
1997 - Se Ri Pak, Cristie Kerr
1996 - Vickie Odegard
1995 - Luciana Bernvenuti
1994 - Denis Philbrick
1993 - Leigh Ann Mills
1992 - Nicky LeRoux
1991 - Susie Redman (Parry), Kiernan Prechtl
1990 - Katie Peterson
1989 - Hiromi Kobayashi
1988 - Caroline Pierce (McMillan)
1987 - Trish Johnson
1986 - Deborah Skinner
1985 - Sherri Steinhauer, Mary Murphy, Tammy Fredrickson
1984 - Caroline Gowan, Kris Monaghan
1983 October - Kathy Williams, Carolyn Hill, Marta Figueras-Dotti
1983 August - Juli Inkster, Kathy Baker (Guadagnino)
1983 January - Anne-Marie Palli
1982 July - Judy Ellis (Sams)
1982 January - Colleen Walker
1981 July - Nancy Maunder
1981 January - Yuko Moriguchi
1980 July - Patty Sheehan
1980 January - Carolyn Hill
1979 July - Cindy Hill
1979 February - Beth Daniel
1978 July - Julie Pyne
1978 January - Lauren Howe
1977 July - Vicki Fergon
1977 February - Eva Chang
1976 July - LeNore Beserra
1976 January - Ai-Yu Tu
1975 June - Bonnie Lauer
1975 January - Michelle Walker
1974 July - Christi Pastore
1974 January - Pat Bradley
1973 June - Mary Bea Porter (Porter-King)
1973 January - Roberta Speer