Golf News

New LPGA changes include tour status for non-member winners

2023 Toto Japan Classic

The headline on Friday regarding changes to the upcoming LPGA season centered around a change in how cards will be allotted in 2025.

Essentially, there will be five more cards awarded to Epson Tour players, rewarding full-season performance on the developmental tour. Meanwhile, fewer players will leave LPGA Q-Series with status. (Though more players will receive full cards at Q-Series than in previous years.)

But beyond those big changes, however, there are a number of smaller shifts in LPGA regulations that are worth noting. Several changes, in particular, will impact those without LPGA status who find the winner’s circle.

Here are four changes worth noting:

Mone Inami of Japan poses with the trophy after winning the 2023 Japan Classic at the Taiheiyo Club’s Minori Course in Omitama, Ibaraki, Japan. (Photo: Yoshimasa Nakano/Getty Images)

When Mone Inami won on the LPGA late last year in Japan, she deferred taking up membership until 2024 and only received one year of Category 7 LPGA status.

Going forward, when a non-member wins on the LPGA she will receive Category 7 status for the remainder of the season thereafter.

This is the same two-year exemption that a member receives after a non-major victory.

Rose Zhang of the United States poses for a photo on the green carpet prior to the 2023 LPGA Rolex Players Awards at Tiburon Golf Club on November 16, 2023, in Naples, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Last year when Rose Zhang won the Mizuho Americas Open in her first start as a professional, the former Stanford player did not receive any Rolex Player of the Year points, Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year points or U.S. Solheim Cup points for that victory. (Zhang qualified for the Solheim via the Rolex Rankings.)

That all changes for 2024, though the Solheim Cup points will go toward the 2026 Solheim qualification period.

A victory is worth 150 Rookie of the Year points.

Minjee Lee of Australia follows her tee shot on the second hole during the third round of the 2022 U.S. Women’s Open at Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club on June 04, 2022, in Southern Pines, North Carolina. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

In 2023, Golfweek wrote about a couple top-tier LPGA players who were subject to a $25,000 fine for skipping the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions. The LPGA’s 1-in-4 requirement stipulates that players in the top 80 of the CME…


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