The headline on Friday regarding changes to the upcoming LPGA season centered around a change in how cards will be allotted in 2025.
Essentially, there will be five more cards awarded to Epson Tour players, rewarding full-season performance on the developmental tour. Meanwhile, fewer players will leave LPGA Q-Series with status. (Though more players will receive full cards at Q-Series than in previous years.)
But beyond those big changes, however, there are a number of smaller shifts in LPGA regulations that are worth noting. Several changes, in particular, will impact those without LPGA status who find the winner’s circle.
Here are four changes worth noting:
Tour status for non-member winners
When Mone Inami won on the LPGA late last year in Japan, she deferred taking up membership until 2024 and only received one year of Category 7 LPGA status.
Going forward, when a non-member wins on the LPGA she will receive Category 7 status for the remainder of the season thereafter.
This is the same two-year exemption that a member receives after a non-major victory.
Points! Points! Points!
Last year when Rose Zhang won the Mizuho Americas Open in her first start as a professional, the former Stanford player did not receive any Rolex Player of the Year points, Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year points or U.S. Solheim Cup points for that victory. (Zhang qualified for the Solheim via the Rolex Rankings.)
That all changes for 2024, though the Solheim Cup points will go toward the 2026 Solheim qualification period.
A victory is worth 150 Rookie of the Year points.
Changes to the 1-in-4 policy
In 2023, Golfweek wrote about a couple top-tier LPGA players who were subject to a $25,000 fine for skipping the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions. The LPGA’s 1-in-4 requirement stipulates that players in the top 80 of the CME points list compete in a domestic event once every four years.
In the past, once a player had competed in 230 official LPGA tournaments as a member she was deemed to be exempt from the 1-in-4 rule for the rest of her career, beginning the following season.
That number has now changed to 200 official events and would begin the following season. If a player competed in 20 events per season, she would be exempt from this rule/fine after 10 years on tour.
Missed-cut money, points
The Mizuho Americas Open, a new event lsat year, is unique with its presence of AJGA players in the field. Because of that, the field of 120 has a cut to 50 and ties.
Beginning this year, those who finish within the top 65 and ties will receive official money and CME Globe Points, even if they’ve missed the 36-hole cut.