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LPGA signs presenting partner for revamped qualifying series

The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) has named health insurance company Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina as the presenting sponsor of its new qualifying series.

Blue Cross NC has signed a three-year deal to support the LPGA’s Q-Series. The first edition of the revamped final stage of the LPGA qualifying tournament will be held at Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina from October 22 to November 3. 

The series will officially be known as the LPGA Q-Series presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina.

The Q-Series will replace LPGA Qualifying School Final Stage, which had been held annually in Daytona Beach, Florida. The new Q-Series will feature 144 holes, compared to the 90 holes that were played in the old Final Stage.

The series will comprise two four-day tournaments, with players to compete for a $150,000 (€122,000) purse. The series, which will not have a cut, will include players who finished 101 to 150 and ties on the current-year LPGA official money list, along with players 11 to 30 and ties from the Symetra Tour official money list.

A maximum of 10 spots will be awarded to players in the top 75 of the Women’s World Golf Rankings, while the top five collegiate players in the country will also be exempt. The field will also include top finishers from Stage II of Qualifying School. The top 45 finishers and ties from the Q-Series will receive LPGA membership in category 14 of the LPGA Priority List, with the rest earning Symetra Tour membership.

LPGA commissioner Michael Whan (pictured) said: “Together we will identify the next group of LPGA stars through this new and exciting format. Pinehurst Resort will provide a world-class platform for the competitors in their quest to qualify for the LPGA Tour, all in an enhanced format that we’re really excited to showcase in October.”