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, and that is the main way that golfers earn membership on the LPGA Tour.

From 1973-82, two different tournaments were held, with two different graduating classes; three tournaments were played in 1983. Today, there are two preliminary tournaments - known as the Stage I and Stage II qualifiers - that lead up to the "final qualifying tournament" or "Q-School finals" (Stage III).

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

2017 LPGA Qualifying School Schedule

Official website

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

  • The entry fee for Stage I is $2,500.
  • For Stage II, the entry fee is $3,000 for those golfers who advanced out of Stage I; and $4,000 for everyone else.
  • For Stage III (the "Q-School Finals"), golfers who started in Stage I are not charged. The cost is $1,500 for golfers who advanced out of Stage II (without playing Stage I); $2,500 for LPGA and Symetra Tour golfers who were exempt from Stage I and Stage II; and $5,500 for golfers ranked in the Top 40 of the world rankings.

    LPGA Tour Q-School Field Criteria and Format

    Beginning in 2011, the LPGA Q-School uses a 3-stage qualifying schedule. The first-stage qualifier is open to Symetra Tour golfers not ranked in the Top 150 on the tour's money list, plus any professionals (who are not currently LPGA Tour members) or amateurs (with handicaps of 4.0 or lower) who are not ranked in the Top 400 of the women's world rankings.

    All women who enter must be 18 years or older by Jan. 1 of the following year (if playing the 2017 Q-School, for example, must be 18 by Jan. 1, 2018), unless granted a waiver by the LPGA.

    The Stage I qualifier is 72 holes of stroke play with a cut after 54 holes.

    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 golfers in the Golfweek Women’s Individual Collegiate Rankings and the women’s World Amateur Golf Rankings as of the entry deadline; Symetra Tour members in the Top 150 on that tour's money list; LPGA Tour Class A member who haven't played an LPGA tournament in the preceding three years; any pro player who is not a tour member but has won money equivalent to No. 100 on the current Symetra Tour money list; golfers not already exempted into Stage III but who are in the Top 400 of the women's world rankings.

    The Stage II qualifier is 72 holes of stroke play with no cut. (All golfers who complete 72 holes in the Stage II qualifier receive Symetra Tour playing status.)

    The Top 80 plus ties in the second stage advance to the final stage.

    The final-stage qualifier includes LPGA members seeking to improve their exemption status; golfers playing the current LPGA Tour season on a medical extension; the 15 highest-ranked (including ties) on the Symetra Tour money list who did not earn their LPGA Tour cards via the Symetra Tour money list and are not otherwise qualified from Stage II; any golfers in the Top 40 of the world rankings as of the Stage II entry deadline; plus those 80-plus Stage II qualifiers.

    The Stage III qualifier is 90 holes of stroke play; the field is cut after 72 holes to the Top 70 players plus ties.

    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 golfers who complete 72 holes in the final receive Symetra Tour status.

    LPGA Tour Q-School Winners

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

    2017 - Nasa Hataoka
    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