The Czech Republic’s Klara Spilkova continued her stellar march into the second half of LPGA Q-Series Wednesday as the event moved to Pinehurst No. 7. A talented cast of collegians did the same.
The day, however, belonged to Americans Becca Huffer, Maddie McCrary and Alana Uriell. They all made big moves toward securing LPGA tour cards.
With the second half’s start, the focus grows more intensely on who’s inside the top 45 than who’s actually leading. The top 45 and ties will win LPGA status, with everyone else assured Symetra Tour status.
Huffer, McCrary and Uriell shot the low scores in the fifth round to overcome rough starts and position themselves inside the top 45. They each posted 4-under 68s.
Huffer and McCrary, both Symetra Tour players looking to move up to the big tour, dug themselves holes, opening with rounds of 76 and 77. That left them tied for 78th in the 102-player field that started the week. Huffer has moved all the way up to T-14, with McCrary up to T-21.
McCrary’s round was highlighted by a hole-in-one. She aced the 16th hole with an 8-iron from 153 yards.
Uriell, a former University of Arkansas standout, started even farther back, with rounds of 76 and 78 leaving her tied for 86th. She’s now at T-33.
Katie Burnett also made a hole-in-one Wednesday. She aced the 16th with a 7-iron on her way to a 71 that has her tied for 21st.
Spilkova, an LET winner, stayed atop the leaderboard with a 72. At 13 under overall, she is two shots ahead of the University of Alabama’s Lauren Stephenson (69), who is one of five collegians strongly positioned to win LPGA tour cards. Wake Forest’s Jennifer Kupcho (71) is fourth, Alabama’s Kristen Gillman (70) and Ohio State’s Jaclyn Lee (76) are tied for eighth, and the University of Arkansas’ Maria Fassi (76) is tied for 10th.
England’s Mel Reid (72) continued to build on her bid to regain full LPGA status, positioning herself fifth. Cheyenne Woods (75) is T-33.
Suzuka Yamaguchi, an 18-year-old amateur from Japan who won the Australian Women’s Amateur this year, shot 71 to move into a tie for 37th.