Karlin Beck ultimately prevailed over 11 playoff holes to earn a return to the LPGA in Monday’s conclusion of Q-School’s suspended playoff.
Beck holed a 75-foot chip to win the 20th and final spot for full-status membership in 2015. She beat out Northern Ireland’s Stephanie Meadow for that final spot, leaving Meadow with conditional status.
“It was definitely the shot of my life so far,” Beck said.
Beck, 27, an Auburn graduate, advanced through Q-School to play the LPGA as a rookie in 2012. She played this past season on the Symetra Tour, the LPGA’s developmental circuit.
The top 20 at Q-School earned full status with the next 25 and ties earning conditional status.
At the conclusion of Sunday’s 90-hole Q-School tournament, seven players were tied for the final three tour cards available for full status. Over the original three-hole aggregate playoff Sunday evening, Jacqui Concolino was eliminated, leaving six players to battle the rest of the way in a sudden-death playoff.
Israel’s Laetitia Beck and Garrett Phillips each made birdie at the first sudden-death playoff hole to claim tour cards. That left Karlin Beck, Meadow, Casey Grice and Julie Yang still competing for the final spot. Yang was eliminated with a bogey at the sixth overall playoff hole.
With the sun setting over LPGA International Sunday evening, the playoff was suspended. After resumption of the playoff Monday morning, Grice was eliminated with a bogey at the 10th playoff hole, leaving Beck and Meadow.
Meadow burst onto the professional scene in a big way earlier this year, finishing third at the U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst in her first pro start.
“This is tough,” Meadow said of falling short of gaining full status. “I didn’t play badly. I probably had the most opportunities, but I wasn’t able to make anything.”
With conditional status, Meadow can expect about 10 or more LPGA starts, depending on how she fares early in the season and after the re-shuffling of priority status. She can also gain LPGA access through sponsor exemptions, Monday qualifying and other qualifying avenues for the major championships.
“It’s good, but it is not what I wanted,” Meadow said. “I’m still proud to be an LPGA tour member, and I’ll have a lot of opportunities to play my way into better status.”