After barely missing earning LPGA Tour card earlier in the fall, former CU golfer Robyn Choi makes emphatic statement with victory in LPGA Q-Series; Coloradan Becca Huffer also regains LPGA status — in her case by the narrowest of margins
By Gary Baines – 12/6/2023
Two months ago, former University of Colorado golfer Robyn Choi and Colorado resident Becca Huffer came painfully close to earning their 2024 LPGA Tour cards, but missed out.
Choi, a native of Australia who played for the Buffs from 2016-18, finished in 12th place on the Epson Tour 2023 money standings. Unfortunately for her, only the top 10 landed LPGA Tour status for 2024.
In a very similar boat was Huffer, a Monument resident who ended up even closer to the promised land — in 11th in the Epson money standings.
But at the LPGA Q-Series, which concluded on Wednesday in Mobile, Ala., Choi and Huffer gained a measure of revenge by earning status on the world’s top women’s golf circuit.
Choi left nothing to chance in earning the LPGA Tour status that narrowly eluded her in October. The 25-year-old not only regained her LPGA card, but she landed medalist honors by three strokes in the 104-player event, earning $15,000 in the process.
“If you’re playing on a world stage, you can’t really ask for more than that,” Choi said, looking ahead to 2024.
Huffer took another route on Wednesday and had to sweat things out almost to the end. But — on the number — she landed one of the final LPGA cards available. With the top 45 and ties earning 2024 LPGA status, Huffer tied for 45th place.
So Choi will be exempt at the top of Category 14 of LPGA status, while Huffer gets through in the less-desirable Category 15. But given how the Littleton High School graduate was right on the bubble down the stretch, she’ll definitely take it.
The top 20 finishers in Mobile landed in Category 14, while the 21st through 45th are in Category 15.
It will be the second time around as LPGA Tour card holders for both Choi and Huffer, who competed as rookies in 2019 after Huffer placed 10th and Choi 45th in the Q-Series in the fall of 2018. In 2019, Huffer played in 15 LPGA Tour events (making one cut) and Choi in a dozen (with three made cuts). In 2020, Choi would finish tied for sixth in an LPGA co-sponsored event in Australia.
But this time at the Q-Series, Choi finished a whopping 29 under par for the six rounds, good for a three-shot victory over Mao Saigo and So Mi Lee. Choi posted bogey-free 64s in rounds 3 and 4. In fact, she didn’t male anything worse than a par in rounds 2, 3 and 4 and carded just one bogey total in the first four rounds. Over the six days, she made 35 birdies, four bogeys and one double bogey.
“To get a win at Q-Series is pretty big for me,” said Choi, who had her mom caddying for her in Alabama. “A win out here means a lot. To play with (golfers from) the LPGA, Epson and other tours, now I know how I stand against the rest of the players out there.”
Becca Huffer earned her LPGA Tour card with no room to spare on Wednesday. (file photo)
Huffer, a two-time winner of the Inspirato Colorado Women’s Open, was no doubt sweating our her status as she was on the top-45 bubble down the stretch on Wednesday. She stood 4 under par for the day, despite starting with a double bogey — until her third-to-last hole, when she recorded a bogey that put her on the wrong side of line for a while. But quite a while after parring her final two holes Wednesday for a 69 and an 8-under-par total, she moved from the 46th to the 45th spot, where she finished. For the tournament, Huffer posted one eagle, 24 birdies, 14 bogeys and two double bogeys.
This year on the Epson Tour, Huffer recorded finishes of second, third, fourth twice and 11th three times. And she missed just two cuts. Meanwhile, Choi didn’t miss any cuts and carded a runner-up finish, a fourth place, two fifths and two eighths.
Another former CU golfer, Jenny Coleman, earned her 2024 LPGA Tour card in October by finishing seventh in the 2023 Epson Tour money standings. Coleman will be returning to the LPGA Tour after playing that circuit regularly in 2017 and 2020-22, with a best finish of third place. She also had conditional LPGA status in 2023, but competed in just three LPGA Tour events, including the U.S. Women’s Open.
Among those joining Choi and Huffer in earning a 2024 LPGA Tour cards on Wednesday was 2022 Colorado Women’s Open champion Clariss Guce (38th place, 9 under par).
At Mobile, Ala. Nov. 30-Dec. 6
(Top 20 Finishers Earn 2024 LPGA Tour cards, Category 14; finishers 21-45 and Ties Earn LPGA Tour cards, Category 15)
1. Former CU golfer Robyn Choi 69-68-64-64-68-68—401
45. Becca Huffer of Monument 70-72-70-69-72-69—422
For all the scores from the LPGA Q-Series, CLICK HERE.
About the Writer: Gary Baines has covered golf in Colorado continuously since 1983. He was a sports writer at the Daily Camera newspaper in Boulder, then the sports editor there, and has written regularly for ColoradoGolf.org since 2009. He was inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame in 2022. He owns and operates ColoradoGolfJournal.com