Please. Do not. Put. The Bears. And Packers. On. National television. Again.
Of the minimal professional golf played over the weekend, the LPGA Qualifying Series was by far the most consequential. Forty-six women earned LPGA Tour status on Sunday after two weeks of competition. The remainder of the Q-Series field received the consolation prize of Symetra Tour status.
Here are a few new LPGA Tour members to keep an eye on next year:
Pauline Roussin-Bouchard – The former No. 1 amateur led for most of Q-Series before getting passed by South Korea’s Na Rin An on the final nine holes. Roussin-Bouchard turned pro just four months ago, after two stellar seasons at the University of South Carolina. She also won on the Ladies European Tour in August in just her second start as a professional.
Atthaya Thitikul – It feels odd putting the No. 18 player IN THE WORLD on an up-and-comers list, but Thitikul did not have LPGA Tour status until Sunday. A four-time winner on the Ladies European Tour, the 18-year-old has shot up the Rolex Rankings over the past year and already has a top five in a major under her belt. Sky’s the limit for Thitikul.
Emily Kristine Pedersen – This is a name you probably know if you’ve watched women’s golf over the past couple of years. EKP racked up four Ladies European Tour wins in 2020 and qualified for the 2021 European Solheim Cup team. But she has something to prove on the LPGA Tour: the last time she played a full LPGA schedule in 2018, Pedersen made just six of 20 cuts.
Stephanie Kyriacou – This 21-year-old Australian has been cruising lately. She has had 15 top-15 finishes in 2021, most of them on the LET, and she has made the cut in each of her three major-championship appearances. Kyriacou is already inside the top 75 of the Rolex Rankings and has the game to go much higher.
The amateurs – Four of the 46 players who earned LPGA Tour status—Gina Kim, Brooke Matthews, and sisters Vivian and Yu-Sang Hou—are currently enrolled in college. In order to use their status, they would need to turn pro. All four are in the top 30 of the World Amateur Golf Rankings, with Kim highest at No. 9. According to Brentley Romine of Golf Channel, the Hou sisters will likely take the plunge, whereas Matthews and Kim are undecided.
The Latest from The Fried Egg
ICYMI – The 2022 Fried Egg Event schedule is here! As of today, we have nine events scheduled for 2022, and we plan to add more. If you’ve never attended a Fried Egg event and are wondering why we hold them, Andy Johnson wrote a quick explainer. Registrations for the first four events will open on January 3, 2022. We can’t wait to tee it up with you in the new year!
Kevin Na and Jason Kokrak came from behind to win the QBE Shootout. The duo birdied 12 of their final 13 holes in best-ball, edging Billy Horschel and Sam Burns by one shot. It was an emotional victory for Na; as he explained afterwards, he recently lost two people close to him.
Rob Labritz, a club pro from New York, shot 71-67-64 to earn medalist honors at PGA Tour Champions Q-School. Labritz has collected low-club-pro honors at the PGA Championship twice, and this was his first attempt to get on the senior tour.
Jessica Korda and Johnny DelPrete got married this past weekend. Korda had a star-studded bridal party that included sister Nelly and fellow LPGA Tour pros Alison Lee, Jodi Ewart Shadoff, and Austin Ernst.
Bank shots off fans aren’t advisable, but it turns out they’re pretty effective.