Hartlage Leads LPGA Q-Series after Week 1; Kaufman Is T47

December 5, 2022
By Michael R Fermoyle

MOBILE, Ala. -- Lauren Hartlage has been through this before. The 24-year-old former University of Louisville All-American played in the LPGA Tour's Q-Series (the final stage of a three-stage qualifying process) last year and tied for 26th. That was good enough to earn an LPGA Tour Card for 2022, but only the top 20 finishers get full status. Those who finish outside the top 20 but inside the top 45 (and ties) gain partially exempt status.

So it was a kind of uncertain year for Hartlage. She didn't know exactly what her schedule would be, because she didn't know exactly which tournaments she would get into. 

As it turned out, there were about seven or eight events she would have liked to get into but didn't. Although Hartlage did get into 16 tournaments, she made the cut in only six of them and had only one finish in the top 35, a tie for 10th at the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, where she made $25,360. She ended the season No. 130 on the LPGA Tour money list with $71,944. You have to finish in the top 100 on the money list to remain exempt for the next season. 

Which is why Hartlage is back at the LPGA's version of Q-School this fall. She'd rather not have to be here, but halfway through the 144-hole Q-Series marathon, she's in a good postion to make the top 20 this time.  Although she bogeyed her first hole of the first round on Thursday at Magnolia Grove's Crossings Course, she birdied seven of the next 17 holes on the way to an opening 66 (6 under), and the former Kentucky Women's State Open champion followed that with three more rounds in the 60s. After posting a pair of 69s at the Falls Course (par 71) on Friday and Saturday, she capped off her first 72 holes with 68 at Crossings on Sunday.

That put her at 272 (-14), and she is the leader by a single stroke over a foursome that's tied for second place. 

There will be another 72 holes played this week, beginning Thursday in Dothan, Ala., at two Highland Oaks courses -- Marshwood and Highlands. The Q-Series ordeal will conclude on Sunday. In addition to the top 20 finishers (and ties) getting full LPGA Tour status for 2023, and those not in the top 20 but inside the top 45 getting partial LPGA status, every player who finishes 144 holes but isn't in the top 20 will get status for 2023 on the Epson Tour. The LPGA's version of a Challenger Tour, the Epson serves the same purpose as the Korn Ferry does for the PGA Tour. 

Just as she had done on Thursday, Hartlage started her Sunday round at Crossings with a bogey. But she rattled off three consecutive birdies on the par-5 fourth, par-4 fifth and par-5 sixth holes, and added two more birdies on the back nine. 

One of the four players tied for second is Luna Sabron Galmes, a 28-year-old from Spain who turned in the best score on Sunday, a 64 at Crossings. That elevated her 23 places from a tie for 25th. Galmes, who played one full season on the LPGA Tour (2019), but made only eight of 21 cuts, lost her exempt status and has spent most of her time as a professional playing in Europe, birdied the fourth hole, the fifth, and the par-4 seventh. She dropped a shot at the par-3 eighth, but torched the back nine with six birdies, which enabled her to pull into the second-place tie at 273, with Polly Mack (69), Manon De Roey (70) and Riley Rennell (71). 

Hae Ran Ryu started Sunday tied with Galmes for 25th, but she, too, made a big move, shooting 65 at Crossings. Now she's tied for sixth at 274, along with Ana Belac, Samantha Wagner, Sofia Garcia and Maddie Szeryk.

There was a cut, from a starting field of 100 players to 70 and ties (75 made it), and it took a 72-hole aggregate of 284  to advance.

Kim Kaufman, the former four-time South Dakota state high school champion from Clark, made it through to the second 72 holes with three strokes to spare. She made a hole in one in Round 1 on Thursday, with a 5-iron into a cold wind on the 175-yard sixth hole at the Falls Course. But a couple of late bogeys left her with an even-par round of 71, and she was even par again on Friday with a 72 at Crossings.

Back at Falls on Saturday, the 31-year-old former Texas Tech All-American (at one time, she was ranked the No. 1 player in the country by Golfweek) made four birdies and no bogeys in a 68. On Sunday, she birdied the fourth and fifth, and made her third birdie in a row on the same hole that she had aced three days before, lthe sixth. But she gave two strokes back with bogeys at the seventh and ninth holes. A bogey at the par-3 13th had her back where she started the round, at even par, but she birdied the 17th and signed for a 70, which gave her four-day total of 281 (-5).  

Kaufman turned professional in 2013, joined the Symetra (now Epson) Tour and made 10 of 10 cuts that year, winning the Island Resort Championship along the way. She made it through the old LPGA Qualifying Tournament in the fall, tying for 23rd, and had full LPGA status for the next five years, earning more than $1 million and nearly winning a tournament. She finished second in the 2015 Blue Bay LPGA. In 2016, she rose to No. 67 in the Women's World Golf Rankings.

In 2018, however, she was diagnosed with mononucleosis, and while recovering, she fell down a flight of stairs and injured her wrist. She finished the year No. 123 on the money list and as a result, had to go back to Q-School, where she tied for 11th in the Final Stage. She had another rough year in 2019 and wound up back on the Symetra Tour in 2020, but she won the Four Winds Invitational and ended the year No. 3 on the money list.  

Things didn't go all that well in 2021, and Kaufman spent 2022 on the Epson Tour, where she made $26,810 in 21 events and ended the year No. 56 on the money list. She had six top-25 finishes, including a tie for eighth in the Four Winds tournament. 


Q-Series (Final Stage)

This is a 144-hole qualifying tournament stretched out over two weeks. The first four rounds were played Thursday through Sunday (Dec. 1-4) in Mobile, Ala., at Magnolia Grove, on the Falls (par 71) and Crossings (par 72) courses. There was a cut, which fell at 284 (-2). The top 70 players and ties -- 75 players in all -- made it, and they will advance to the final four rounds, which will be played this Thursday though Sunday (Dec. 8-11) in Dothan, Ala., at Highland Oaks, on the Highlands and Marshwood courses. When it's over, the top 20 finishers will be fully exempt for the 2023 LPGA Tour. Anyone not in the top 20 but in the top 45 (and ties) will be partially exempt. All those who finish 144 holes outside of the top 20 will be fully exempt in 2023 for the Epson Tour, basically a kind of challenger tour (the G League of women's professional golf), formerly known as the Symetra.

First 72 holes

At Magnolia Grove

Crossings Course (par 72)

Falls Course (par 71)


1. Lauren Hartlage                              66-69-69-68--272 (-14)

T2. Luna Sobron Galmes                    68-70-71-64--273

T2. Polly Mack                                     70-69-65-69--273

T2. Manon De Roey                            64-69-70-70--273

T2. Riley Rennell                                 66-67-69-71--273

T6. Hae Ran Ryu                                 73-68-68-65--274

T6. Ana Belac                                      67-71-68-68--274

T6. Samantha Wagner                        69-67-70-68--274

T6. Sofia Garcia                                  72-67-66-69--274

T6. Maddie Szeryk                              71-64-67-72--274

T47. Kim Kaufman                             71-72-68-70--281

72-hole cut -- 284 (-2) 


Stage II 

Nov. 17-20

At Plantation Golf and Country Club

Bobcat and Panther courses (both par 72)

Venice, Fla. 

Final results (The top 45 finishers and ties advanced to the 144-hole final stage, which is called the Q-Series. It is being played over two weeks -- Dec. 1-4 at Magnolia Grove (Crossings and Falls courses in Mobile, Ala.) and Dec. 8-11 at Highland Oaks (Highlands and Marshwood courses in Dothan, Ala.). Players finishing those eight rounds  in the top 45, plus ties, will receive LPGA status for the 2023 season. The top 20 -- plus ties -- will be fully exempt. Those outside the top 20 but inside the top 45 will be partially exempt. All players finishing outside the top 20 and ties will receive Epson Tour status. All player who made it to Stage II will have limited status on the Epson Tour for 2023.)

T1. Becca Huffer                  69-74-70-71--284 (-4)

T1. Seulki Lee                      69-70-74-71--284

3. Anais Meyssonnier          72-71-73-69--285

T4. Auston Kim                    73-73-78-72--286

T4. Chanettee Wannasaen  73-71-67-75--286

T4. Aline Krauter                   72-68-71-75--285

T18. Kim Kaufman               72-73-69-76--290

What it took -- 294 (7-way tie for 44th) 

T110. Kate Smith                  74-73-73-83--303

Stage I

Aug. 18-21

At Mission Hills Country Club

Dinah Shore and Arnold Palmer courses

Rancho Mirage, Calif. 

& Shadow Ridge

Palm Desert, Calif. 

Final results (The top 100 finishers plus ties advanced to Stage II)

1. Alessandra Fanali (A)                  69-67-69-69--274 (-14)

T2. Natthaklritta Vongtaveelap (A)   67-72-69-67--275

T2. Valery Plata (A)                          72-69-66-68--275

What it took -- 290 (9-way tie for 98th)

54-hole cut -- 218 (+2)

T196. Taylor Ledwein                       77-74-72--223

T206. Betsy Kelly                              76-75-73--224


Michael R Fermoyle

Mike Fermoyle’s amateur golf career features state titles in five different decades, beginning with the State Public Links (1969), three State Amateurs (1970, 1973 and 1980), and four State Four-Ball championships (1972, 1985, 1993 and 2001). Fermoyle was medalist at the Pine to Palm in 1971, won the Resorters in 1972, made the cut at the State Amateur 18 consecutive years (1969 to 1986), the last being 2000, and amassed 13 top-ten finishes. Fermoyle also made it to the semi-final matches at the MGA’s annual match play championship, the Players’, in 1982 and 1987.

Fermoyle enjoyed a career as a sportswriter at the St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch before retiring in 2006. Two years later he began a second career covering the golf beat exclusively for the MGA and its website, mngolf.org, where he ranks individual prep golfers and teams, provides coverage on local amateur and professional tournaments and keeps tabs on how Minnesotans are faring on the various professional tours.

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