Reid and Boulden set for marathon LPGA Q-Series

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There are a few Europeans among the 102 hopefuls set for the inaugural LPGA Q-Series. Keel Timmins previews the tournament

While the best players in the game are in Taiwan this week, 102 hopefuls battle it out in a two-tournament, 144-hole event at the inaugural LPGA Q-Series.

Starting on Wednesday, players will play Pinehurst’s No. 6 this week before they tackle No. 7 next week. The top 45 players will receive LPGA Tour membership, with the rest of the field receiving Symetra Tour status.

Keel Timmins runs down a handful of the runners and riders set to slog it round the North Carolina resort…

The European frontrunners

Mel Reid hasn’t done enough over the past 10 months to keep her LPGA card.

The six-time LET winner started to find some form during the summer with six straight made cuts, including a top 10 at the Marathon Classic, but her missed cut at the British Open started a run of four straight missed weekends to slip outside of the world’s top 200.

Could a recent round with Rory McIlroy spark her to life as she seeks to secure her future on the American tour?

Amy Boulden earned co-medalist honours at Stage II of the LPGA Qualifying Tournament last week with a 10-under par score.

“I played well and am now looking forward to getting up to Pinehurst. I made a lot of good improvements and am confident for Q-Series,” Boulden said.

Boulden has struggled for form on the LET this season, but she’s made her last four cuts, and after topping Stage II of qualifying, she’ll enter the two-tournament marathon with confidence.

Anne Van Dam is on the brink of cracking the world’s top 100 for the first time in her career after she cruised to her second LET title last month at the Estrella Damm Ladies Open.

The big-hitting Dutchwoman made it through Stage II of qualifying on the number last week, and it seems to be only a matter of time until this exceptional talent steps up to the big league.

Other Europeans: Emily Pedersen, Klara Spilkova, Olafia Kristinsdottir, Luna Sobron, Giulia Molinaro, Celine Borge, Camilla Lennarth, Nuria Iturrios, Louise Ridderstrom, Katja Pogacar, Nanna Koerstz Madsen, Gemma Dryburgh, Elin Arvidsson, Louise Stahle, Perrine Delacour, Jenny Haglund, Dewi Weber (a), Sophia Popov, Csicsi Rozsa

The leading contenders

Jeong Eun Lee is by far and away the best player taking part and it seems as though the Korean is desperate to make the step up to the LPGA Tour.

The 22-year-old is ranked 19th in the world and currently leads the LPGA of Korea Tour in money won this year. Lee is a six-time KLPGA winner after winning the KB Financial Group Star Championship last week, while she also boasts form in the majors; she burst onto the scene when finishing fifth at last year’s U.S. Open, while more recently she was sixth at the Evian Championship last month.

Incidentally, you may see Lee’s name listed as “Jeong Eun Lee6” due to the fact she’s the sixth player on the KLPGA called Jeong Eun Lee. “The name of my fan club [in South Korea] is Lucky 6,” she explained.

Many will recognise the name of Alison Lee who hasn’t registered a top-10 finish in more than two years. She represented the USA in the 2015 Solheim Cup and has since fallen to 259 in the world rankings from a high of 21.

Keep an eye out on the amateurs, too. The world’s No. 1 and 2, Jennifer Kupcho and Lilia Vu, are in the field, as is Kristen Gillman, the reigning US Amateur champion who won a professional event earlier this year on the Japanese tour.

Elsewhere, Cheyenne Woods is also battling to keep her card after missing 12 cuts this year, while Kyung Kim topped the Stage II qualifier with Boulden last week.

How to follow the LPGA Q-Series

You can keep up to date with all the live scoring here.

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