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See which amateurs just turned pro for chance to earn LPGA card, and which ones are staying in school

NAPLES, Fla. — Savannah Grewal picked a fine time to be playing the best golf of her life. The Clemson fifth-year senior took a share of first at Stage 1 of LPGA Qualifying school and then promptly won her first college tournament at the Cougar Classic. Over the past year, she’s dropped four strokes off her scoring average.

After sailing through the second stage of Q-School last month, Grewal has decided to turn professional to compete in the upcoming LPGA Q-Series.

“It feels kind of surreal so far,” she said what lies ahead, “something I’ve been dreaming about since I was 8 years old.”

The second stage of LPGA Q-School wrapped up in Venice, Florida, Oct. 20 and of the 188 who started the week, 41 advanced. Among those 41 were nine amateurs, including Grewal (T-6) and LSU’s Ingrid Lindblad, who topped the field by four strokes with an 18-under total.

Lindblad, a fifth-year senior who is currently No. 1 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, shot 67-66-70-67 at Plantation Golf and Country Club’s Bobcat and Panther courses.

The deadline for players to sign up for Q-Series as a professional was Nov. 17. Lindblad was one of five amateurs who decided to forgo Q-Series and keep their Epson Tour status.

Clemson coach Kelley Hester offered Grewal an opportunity to come back for a fifth year knowing that she’d sign up for Q-School. Hester viewed whatever happened as a win-win situation.

“It was ultimately her decision,” said Hester, “but we knew that if she maLast year, the LPGA changed its Q-Series criteria, requiring players to turn professional before they can compete for an LPGA it to the third stage, there’s no guarantees you get back there. So go for it.”

This year’s LPGA Q-Series takes place Nov. 30 to Dec. 5 in Mobile, Alabama, at the Magnolia Grove Golf Course.

Grewal credits her success so far at Qualifying school to her steady approach – not to high and not too low.

She has tidied up her wedge play over the past year and improved her speed control on the greens, cutting down on the number of three-putts. The pre-med major also saw a dramatic dip in her course load as she began pursuing a second degree in French.

For as long as she can remember, Grewal has enjoyed warming up with a 9-iron. In fact, she hits so many 9-irons in a practice session that she had to get a second 9-iron just to use on the range.

It’s no wonder that ball-striking is the best part of her game.

From a personal growth standpoint, Hester said Grewal reminds her of Stacy Lewis in terms of how she has blossomed during her time at Arkansas.

“The only other player I know who developed that much and become that confident in themselves over time is Stacy,” said Hester.

High praise for a player as she prepares to play for chance to compete against the best in the world.

Take a look at which players decided to turn pro, and after those, see which players are joining Lindblad by going back to school:

Saki Baba

2022 U.S. Women's Amateur
Saki Baba holds the championship trophy after winning the 2022 U.S. Women’s Amateur at Chambers Bay in University Place, Washington. (Darren Carroll/USGA)

Japanese star Saki Babi won the 2022 U.S. Women’s Amateur in dominant fashion. Currently ranked No. 2 in the world, Baba’s last six starts have been in professional tournaments.

Briana Chacon

2023 U.S. Women's Amateur
Briana Chacon gives a fist pump after making her putt on hole 14 during the second round of the 2023 U.S. Women’s Amateur at Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles, Calif. on Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2023. (James Gilbert/USGA)

The fifth-year senior at Oregon finished 11th in her last college start at the Windy City Collegiate Classic. Her best finish of the fall season was a T-5 at the Annika Intercollegiate. Last season, Chacon became the first Duck in program history to win an NCAA Regional individual title in Albuquerque.

Savannah Grewal

Savannah Grewal plays her shot from the fifth tee during the first round of the 2023 Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational at Midland Country Club in Midland, Michigan. (Photo: Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Savannah Grewal plays her shot from the fifth tee during the first round of the 2023 Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational at Midland Country Club in Midland, Michigan. (Photo: Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Clemson super senior finished T-6 at the second stage of Q-School. Grewal won the Cougar Class this fall with rounds of 68-63-66. She leads the team with a 70.00 scoring average.

Lilly Thomas

2023 U.S. Women's Amateur
Lilly Thomas hits her tee shot on hole five during the first round of the 2023 U.S. Women’s Amateur at Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles, Calif. on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023. (James Gilbert/USGA)

Tulsa grad student tied for 21st in Stage 2. Thomas posted a pair of top-10 finishes this fall, including a second place earlier at the Schooner Fall Classic.

Players that remained amateur

2023 Volvo Car Scandinavian Mixed
Ingrid Lindblad tees off on the sixth hole during the second round of the Volvo Car Scandinavian Mixed at Ullna Golf & Country Club in Sweden. (Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)
  • Charlotte Heath – Florida State senior

  • Maddison Hinson-Tolchard – Oklahoma State senior

  • Sabrina Iqbal – fifth-year senior at Colorado

  • Ingrid Lindblad – fifth-year senior at LSU

  • Jennie Park – Texas A&M super senior

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek