Day two of the LPGA and Epson Tour Qualifying Tournament Stage II has come to a close but the magic number to get into Q-Series remains the same at even par. The 188-player field took on their second course of the week in the second round with much better weather conditions than day one. There is no cut at Stage II, but the field will be regrouped based on score heading into the rounds three and four, with the leaders teeing off last. Leading the way with 36 holes to play is the No. 1 player in the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR), Ingrid Lindblad.
Lindblad is currently a grad student at Louisiana State University and has had one an impressive amateur career. In addition to being the highest-ranked amateur in the WAGR, the Swede has won 11 collegiate tournaments, is a four-time All-American, is the 2019 European Amateur Ladies Championship winner and was the low amateur at the 2022 U.S. Women’s Open, just to name a few of her numerous accomplishments. In her second round at Stage II, Lindblad followed up her bogey-free 67 with a 6-under 66 to hold the lead by four shots.
“I mean, it's not as easy as it looks sometimes,” said Lindblad. “You don't always see like how you play on the scorecard, but I drained two long putts, one for eagle, so that was a bonus. I had like a six-footer on 9 for eagle that I didn't make, and then I made like a 37-footer on 13. I'm like, I feel like should have been the opposite, but still just trying to keep the ball on the fairway, in play, hit the green, and try to make some putts.”
Three shots behind the leader is Epson Tour professional, Pinyada Kuvanan. Kuvanan signed for a 5-under round of 67 on day two and is now in a prime position to lock up an LPGA Q-Series spot heading into the weekend. Kuvanan had the best season of her career on the Epson Tour in 2023, finishing 49th on the Official Money List. The 27-year-old entered Stage II coming off five straight made cuts to end her 2023 campaign, giving her significant momentum heading into Stage II, preparation that’s been invaluable as Kuvanan works to focus on her game plan this week.
“I think on the Epson Tour, every player in the field, they're all like very good, so that's kind of like help me prepare a little bit,” said Kuvanan. “I'm just going to try to stay on my game, the same plan: Fairway and green and try to make the putt. That's it.”
Duke University senior, Anne Chen, rounds out the top three after 36 holes, carding a 2-under 70 in her second round. The front nine was bogey-free for the Blue Devil, who made the turn with a 33. Two bogeys coming in derailed her round slightly, but she is still in good position heading into the weekend. The 22-year-old was All-ACC in 2022 and competed in the 2023 Augusta National Women’s Amateur, one of the biggest stages in women’s amateur golf. Chen will return to Duke for her senior year, making this the last qualifying stage for the amateur, who knows that just making it this far is an accomplishment in and of itself.
“Just knowing that I still have my senior year left in college and that this isn't a make-or-break thing for me,” said Chen. “It’s just an achievement to be at Stage II, and I'm happy to have done well at Stage I. That just kind of boosts my confidence for Stage II. I'm not going to turn pro. Not going to move to Q-Series. Just because I feel like I need to finish out my college years. You only have four years in college, and I already missed a semester because of COVID. Just wouldn't want to miss my senior year for anything else.”