The final week of competition at Q-Series has officially begun and crunch time is coming for the 75 golfers vying for the 45 LPGA Tour cards that are being given out on Sunday. It’s a stressful situation, but Isi Gabsa is feeling pretty relaxed. She credits her past experience at Q-Series with easing the pressure.
“I think I’m just more chilled and not freaking out,” Gabsa said after a 5-under fifth round. “I think the years before I’d freak out, just being scared that I could miss it. Now it’s a round of golf. Stuff happens, you make mistakes. I made two mistakes that weren't very smart today and I just kept it cool.”
The 27-year-old isn’t sweating her mistakes or her scores. She’s treating the eight-round marathon as two separate tournaments and adjusting her strategy accordingly.
“You have two weeks in a row, two separate tournaments,” Gabsa said. “I don’t really look at scores and stuff like that. I’m just trying to keep it as two tournaments.
Gabsa has benefitted from her experience with the event when it comes to her game too. The 27-year-old breezed through the Highland Oaks Golf Course Thursday with seven birdies on the card and just two bogeys, both of which came on the front nine.
“I played here last year,” Gabsa explained. “The course plays a little bit different than last year, the greens are not as soft and spinny, so it’s a little bit different in length into the greens and approaches. But I know where to hit it and where not to hit it, so it's pretty straightforward for me. Knowing the pin positions and where to miss and where not to miss is what makes the big difference for me.”
This is Gabsa’s third visit to Q-Series, having played the tournament in 2019 and 2021. Last year, Gabsa walked away unscathed, turning in a T14 result to retain her LPGA Tour card. The German had a strong start to the 2022 season, making the cut in eight of her first nine starts. She began to struggle in the fall, missing two cuts back-to-back and withdrawing from two more tournaments due to illness. Still, Gabsa’s 107th place finish in the Race to CME Globe was her highest ranking on the money list in her four seasons on tour.
“I didn’t play my best golf, but everything around golf was in a pretty good place and I felt comfortable out there,” Gabsa said of her season. “I had a good start to the season, just kept grinding. Of course, it’s not the best thing to be out here again, but I already have a little bit of status through the year, so it's not like I completely lose my status if I don’t get through here.”
Though she may not be looking at her score, almost everyone else is. With a five-under 67 in her fifth round, Gabsa has moved to 15-under par and is tied for seventh with American Lindy Duncan. Gabsa is one of three Germans in the top ten, trailing Aline Krauter and Polly Mack, who sit at T2, by one stroke. All three hope they’ll be paired together in the coming rounds.
“We were talking about maybe a threesome would be pretty good, just three Germans would be pretty awesome,” Gabsa said with a smile. “I know Polly pretty well. She started practicing with my ex-roommate Sophie (Hausmann), so the three of us know each other pretty well. Aline just finished college, so I don’t know her that well, but we played practice round yesterday and just talked in German and made jokes. We talked about food and what we miss, I think we talked for three holes just about food. So, it was pretty cool.”
Wherever she is on the course this week, you can expect to find Gabsa chilling – whether she’s draining a few casual birdies or talking about food.