PINEHURST, N.C. – A marathon of golf will require a big finishing kick.
With weather delays and another round suspended due to darkness, it has been a long week for the 100 players vying to win tour status at the LPGA’s inaugural Q-Series.
And now it appears it will finish with a long day.
Sarah Schmelzel, a Symetra Tour pro from Phoenix, continued to take command Friday at Pinehurst No. 7. She was 3-under through 12 holes of the seventh round when play was halted due to darkness.
At 17 under overall, Schmelzel is one shot ahead of South Korea’s Jeongeun Lee6, two ahead of Wake Forest amateur Jennifer Kupcho and three ahead of the Czech Republic’s Klara Spilkova.
There were 51 players on the course when play was halted on Friday. The seventh round is scheduled to resume Saturday at 7:50 a.m. The tour will also begin the eighth and final round at 7:50 a.m., with groups going off in threesomes on the first and 10th tees and no re-pairing for the final round. A better forecast should help the event finish as scheduled on Saturday.
Six other amateurs join Kupcho among the top 45 with chances to win LPGA tour cards. University of Alabama teammates Lauren Stephenson and Kristen Gillman are fifth and seventh, respectively. Ohio State’s Jaclyn Lee is among those tied for seventh. The University of Arkansas’ Maria Fassi is tied for 18th and the University of Colorado’s Robyn Choi is tied for 45th. Japanese amateur Suzuka Yamaguchi is tied for 38th.
UCLA’s Lilia Vu and the University of Miami’s Dewi Weber are moving closer to tour cards. Vu and Weber are just two shots off that top-45 cutline.
Everyone in the field is guaranteed at least Symetra Tour status.