[PHOTO: Isaiah Vazquez]
The LPGA Tour announced overnight two changes to how cards will be earned for the 2025 season. The 2024 Q-Series, the LPGA’s qualifying school, will now award status to those finishing in the top 25 and ties instead of the top 45 and ties. Additionally, the Epson Tour expanded its LPGA cards available to 15 from 10.
Those who finish in the top 25 at Q-Series will earn Category 14 status on the LPGA’s priority list, which dictates the quality of standing a player has for the season. Previously, those who finished outside the top 20 at Q-Series were placed in Category 15, giving them limited opportunities to play in events during the year. Category 15 has 31 players in 2024 and is ahead of Category 16, those who finished 101st to 125th on the LPGA’s CME points list.
For 2025, the new Category 15 will be for those who finished 101st to 125th, along with the five new cards awarded from Epson. The move rewards LPGA performance and lessens the blow of ending up outside the top 100 on the CME points list. Dani Holmqvist (99th in 2023 CME Points) is 134th on this year’s priority list. The top player in Category 16, Amanda Doherty, is 191st on the priority list.
“Changing the number of cards awarded at LPGA Q-Series aligns with the mission of the LPGA to identify the very best players in the world and provide the opportunity for the most talented athletes to succeed at the highest level,” LPGA commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan said in a release. “This change aims to reward full-season performance while also giving the world’s rising talent an opportunity to compete for coveted LPGA Tour status.”
The Epson Tour expanded its cards available, but the additional five won’t be in the same category as those who finish in the top 10 on its moneylist. Those who are in the top 10 at the end of the season will earn Category 9 status, as they have in recent years, and are eligible for a majority of LPGA full-field events. For those who finish 11th to 15th, they’ll be further down the priority list in Category 15 and “zippered” with those who finish 101st to 125th on the CME points list, going from CME No.101, Epson No.11, CME No.102, Epson No.12, and so on. It’s the first raise in available cards for the Epson since going from five to 10 in 2007.
“We are thrilled to announce the news of expanded access to the LPGA for Epson Tour members at the end of the upcoming season,” Epson Tour chief business and operations Officer Jody Brothers said in a release. “We annually review the performance data of our recent graduates, and the additional access substantiates that Epson Tour athletes are arriving to the LPGA ready to perform at the highest stage.”