The final stage of LPGA qualifying has a familiar feel to it. Frenchwoman Pauline Roussin-Bouchard, winner of Stage II, is once again atop the board at the midway point of the Q-Series marathon.
Roussin-Bouchard fired a 7-under 65 on the Crossings Course Sunday to take a two-shot lead at 19 under into Week 2 on the Robert Trent Jones Trail. There are six players ranked in the top 75 of the Rolex Rankings in the Q-Series field, and four of those players are in the top 10: Hye-Jin Choi (-17), Na Rin An (-14), Atthaya Thitikul (-13) and Ayaka Furue (-11). Major winner Hinako Shibuno and two-time European Solheim Cup player Emily Kristine Pedersen are tied for 24th.
Roussin-Bouchard credits her early success to the peaceful atmosphere her team has helped her to create, calling it “pressure-less.”
“I do a lot of martial arts, boxing,” said Roussin-Bouchard, “and I went boxing before leaving because I needed to let some pressure go. It really helped because it puts me in the mood where I really want to destroy everything on my way.”
Aussie Stephanie Kyriacou carded the low round of the week on Sunday, a 9-under 63, on the Crossings Course with seven birdies and an eagle. Kyriacou first won on the LET as a 19-year-old amateur at the 2020 Australian Ladies Classic Bonville.
“Over the last couple days some things were working and some things weren’t,” she said, “and then today they just both were in sync.”
Currently ranked 77th in the world, Kyriacou won the 2021 Big Green Egg Open on the LET and notched a dozen top-10 finishes.
While Roussin-Bouchard and Kyriacou look ahead to the 72-hole event at Highland Oaks Golf Club in Dothan, Alabama, not everyone in the field will make the trip.
There was a cut on Sunday to the top 70 and ties and 74 players advanced. Among those not making the cut: Haley Moore, Sierra Brooks, Beth Wu, Sarah Burnham, Virginia Elena Carta and amateurs Polly Mack and Hyo Joon Jang.
LPGA veteran Mariah Stackhouse carded a fourth-round 69 to bolt up the board into the next week. England’s Meghan MacLaren’s back-to-back 68s moved her back in contention for a tour card at T-39.
— Meghan MacLaren (@meg_maclaren) December 5, 2021
The top 45 players and ties earn LPGA status for 2022. The rest of the field earns Symetra status.
Six amateurs made the cut including Arizona’s Hou sisters, who are currently tied for 29th. Yu-Sang shot 66 on Sunday to join her sister Yu-Chiang at 5 under.