07 Dec 2023 | Professional golf |

Aussies on Tour: Choi, Naveed earn LPGA status for 2024

by Tony Webeck

Robyn Choi Hira Naveed Q Series
Robyn Choi and Hira Naveed both secured LPGA Tour status at Q-Series in Alabama. Photo: Isaiah Bell/LPGA

Australian Robyn Choi has played her way back onto the LPGA Tour in 2024 in emphatic fashion, winning the LPGA Q-Series in Alabama by three strokes.

Choi was one of two Aussies who will add to our LPGA contingent in 2024 with Perth’s Hira Naveed shooting 65 in the final round to climb from 43rd to 15th and earn her elevation from the Epson Tour.

Securing a return to the LPGA Tour for the first time since 2019 is particularly sweet for Choi, who looked all but guaranteed a card via the Epson Tour moneylist.

Having not missed a cut all season, Choi entered the Tour Championship 11th on the moneylist, the top 10 receiving LPGA Tour cards.

Despite finishing tied for 14th at the season finale, Choi was overtaken by two others and fell to 12th, sending her to the six-round Q-Series to try and qualify for the LPGA Tour.

After a quick trip home to play the Webex Players Series South Australia and with Mum on the bag, Choi was never far from the top of the leaderboard at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.

The Gold Coaster led after rounds of 64 in both Round 3 and Round 4 and closed out the seven-day marathon with rounds of 68 and 68 to finish three clear and erase the disappointment of her Epson Tour near-miss.

“A win out here, it means a lot,” said Choi.

“Just when I'm playing on Epson, we really just get to play along with the Epson girls, but to play with kind of like all around LPGA, Epson, and like from other tours, you know, just to win… Now I know where I would stand against the rest of the players out there, so that's good for me.

“We’ve all been working for this week and to show that I have that this week is pretty good.”

Choi started her day two shots out of the lead behind So Mi Lee.

After starting her round with three straight pars, the 25-year-old made birdie at the par-5 fourth before reeling off a further three pars.

It was three birdies in succession from the eighth hole and then responded to bogeys at 13 and 15 with birdies at 16 and 17 to post 29-under for the six rounds.

Choi was the only player in the entire field to record scores in the 60s all six days while Naveed had to produce her best on the final day to secure a LPGA Tour card.

A graduate of Pepperdine University, Naveed has progressed each year since her rookie season on the Epson Tour in 2020.

She finished 30th on the moneylist this year to qualify for the Q-Series and produced one of the rounds of her life – a bogey-free 7-under 65 – under immense pressure to join Choi and the other Aussies on the LPGA Tour in 2024.

The Final Stage of the PGA TOUR Champions Q School has reached the halfway mark with Cameron Percy and Stephen Allan both inside the top 10, the top five at the completion of the tournament to earn a Champions Tour card for 2024.

Jason Day is partnering with Kiwi Lydia Ko at the inaugural Grant Thornton Invitational and there are 11 Aussies attending the LIV Golf Promotions event in Abu Dhabi.


LPGA TOUR Q-Series Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Magnolia Grove, Mobile, Alabama 1 Robyn Choi 69-68-64-64-68-68—401 $US15,000 15 Hira Naveed 72-67-71-70-70-65—415 $2,800 T56 Amelia Garvey (NZ) 73-69-70-71-71-70—424 MC Su Oh 75-70-72-73—290

PGA TOUR Champions Qualifying Tournament-Final Stage TPC Scottsdale (Champions Cse), Scottsdale, Arizona Through two rounds 1 Wes Short Jr 67-63—130 T2 Cameron Percy65-66—131 T7 Steve Allan 68-66—134 T15 Greg Chalmers70-67—137 T26 David Bransdon 69-70—139 T26 David McKenzie 72-67—139 T32 Michael Wright68-72—140 WD Mick Smith 67

Round 1 tee times AEST

PGA TOUR Champions World Champions Cup The Concession Golf Club, Bradenton, Florida Australasians in the field: Stuart Appleby, Steven Alker (NZ)

Defending champion: Inaugural event Past Aussie winners: Nil TV times: Live 4am-8am Friday on Fox Sports 503; Live 4am-8am Saturday on Fox Sports 506; Live 4am-6am Sunday on Fox Sports 503; Live 5am-9am Monday on Fox Sports 506 and Kayo.

PGA TOUR/LPGA Tour Grant Thornton Invitational Tiburón Golf Club (Gold Cse), Naples, Florida 2:40am Jason Day/Lydia Ko (NZ), Charley Hull/Justin Rose

Defending champion: Inaugural event Past Aussie winners: Nil TV times: Live 5am-8am Saturday; Live 6am-9am Sunday; Live 5am-8am Monday on Fox Sports 503 and Kayo.

LIV Golf LIV Golf Promotions Abu Dhabi Golf Club, United Arab Emirates Australasians in the field: Jed Morgan, Wade Ormsby, Ben Campbell (NZ), Scott Hend, Austin Bautista, Lachlan Barker, Kerry Mountcastle (NZ), Andrew Dodt, Brendan Jones, Zach Murray, Ryan Ruffels, Travis Smyth, Kevin Yuan.

TV times: Live from 2pm Friday, Saturday, Sunday on 7 Plus.

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