More than 300 players chased the dream of an LPGA Tour card this past week in Southern California.
While the competition heated up, the temperatures were soaring, as well. With highs well into the triple-digits, players were allowed to take golf carts to compete, but the LPGA Tour received some serious backlash due to a lack of water provided on-course for the players.
Nichols did acknowledge that a Twitter reply was correct – there was an ice machine and water available at the 1st and 10th holes – but commented, “I guess we can agree to disagree on what should come with a $2,500 entry fee! Water in coolers on the course seems an obvious one to me.”
Stage I of LPGA Q-School is this week at Mission Hills, where it's currently 104 degrees. There are 300+ players in the field.
The good news: Players get to take carts.
The bad news: Hearing there's no water on the course. No snacks.
It's BYOC! Bring your own cooler. Oh my.
— Beth Ann Nichols (@GolfweekNichols) August 17, 2022
Twitter replies to Nichols’ water comments ranged from folks defending the LPGA, to others calling the lack of coolers “unacceptable and embarrassing,” and “outright offensive.” One reply even indicated this might be Mission Hills responding to how the LPGA moved the former ANA Inspiration – now the Chevron Championship – away from the Coachella Valley.
“Why doesn’t the LPGA get it,” the reply said. “Mission Hills doesn’t want you there!”
The first stage of Q-school took place over three courses – the Dinah Shore and Palmer courses at Mission Hills Country Club, and Shadow Ridge in Palm Desert. The field included seven Epson Tour players who were playing in competition for the sixth week in a row.
The grind of six straight weeks of competitive golf is tough enough, but is especially difficult when the final week is played in such high heat.
After day two of Q-School, Nichols tweeted out an update confirming that players were provided water in their carts, and coolers were added on the golf course.
LPGA Q-School water update: Players had water on the carts today. And a few coolers were added to the course.
Good to hear.
Also, Anais Meyssonnier shot 👀 63 👀 to take the first-round lead.
— Beth Ann Nichols (@GolfweekNichols) August 19, 2022
Bobbi Stricker, former Wisconsin golfer and daughter of PGA player Steve Stricker, fired a final-day 69 on the Dinah Shore Tournament Course to finish in a tie for seventh and advance to Stage II of LPGA Qualifying. Italian amateur Alessandra Fanali took home medalist honors at 14-under for the tournament, including back-to-back 69s on the weekend.
In total, 106 players qualified for Stage II, including the youngest player in the field, 16-year old Holly Halim, and four other teenagers: Shuangshuang Fan (17) of China, Ting-Hsuan Huang (17) of Taipei, Yunxuan Zhan (17) of China and Bailey Shoemaker (17) of the United States.
Shoemaker, a high school senior and USC commit, advanced to the semifinals of the US Women’s Amateur at Chambers Bay a few weeks back before losing to eventual champion Saki Baba. She was also one of only four amateurs to make the cut at the 2022 Women’s US Open at Pine Needles.
Stage II of LPGA Q School will take place October 18-21 at Plantation Golf and Country Club in Venice, Florida. Players who advance beyond Stage II will compete in the two-week Q-Series in Mobile, Alabama, and Dothan, Alabama, with the hopes of earning their LPGA Tour cards there.