A handful of players each year battle their way from LPGA and Epson Tour Qualifying Tournament Stage I to LPGA Q-Series. In total, a player could see three different states, seven different golf courses, and 252 different holes after completing the final round of LPGA Q-Series in Lower Alabama.
Savannah Grewal was one of just seven players who made it through the first two Stages of LPGA and Epson Tour Qualifying School, putting together impressive showings in both Stages. The 22-year-old finished in a tie for first at Stage I and in a tie for sixth at Stage II, ultimately deciding to turn professional and head to LPGA Q-Series, forgoing her final year of eligibility at Clemson University.
“I was just trying to stay steady,” explained the Canadian. “It was a long week at Stage I, with three practice rounds with the three different courses and then four tournament rounds, so I was just trying to pace myself. Then at Stage II, I tried to do the same thing because we played two different courses there. So, I’m just trying to not tire myself out, especially heading into Q-Series knowing it could potentially be six rounds.”
In her final season at Clemson, Grewal earned First-Team All-ACC honors with a 71.77 scoring average, which is the best in school history. Grewal’s 9-under 63 at the Pullman Regional during her last year was also the lowest score to par in Clemson history, putting an exclamation point on her time as a Tiger.
“My coaches pretty much told me if I made it to Q-Series I could turn pro,” said Grewal. “It was really nice to have their support, but it definitely didn’t make it easier turning pro. Leaving my team was hard, I love my teammates and we have a really close bond. It is really hard to step away from, but this is something I have been dreaming of since I was 8 years old, so I was also kind of ready for this moment to come.”
The 22-year-old now finds herself in a familiar position, near the top of the leaderboard at the final leg of the LPGA and Epson Tour Qualifying Tournament. The round was bogey-free until Grewal reached 15, where she made her lone bogey of the day, but she would bounce right back with a birdie on 16 before finishing par-par on 17 and 18 to post a 5-under 66. The Mississauga, Ontario native recorded six birdies and one bogey in total in her first round as a professional and is sitting in a tie for second, one shot behind leader Ssu-Chia Cheng.
“It feels pretty good. Honestly, I'm kind of battling a cold right now, so to be able to come out here and play well despite not feeling great was good,” said Grewal after her first round as a pro. “I tried to just enjoy the moment. It is my first tournament as a professional, so enjoy the first experience of being a professional and playing professional golf. I think I hit all 18 greens so that definitely helps when you're hitting all the greens and just relying on putting.”