Top amateur’s crazy Q school story includes stolen luggage, police reports and passing on chance at a LPGA card
No one said trying to earn an LPGA Tour card would be easy. And yet few would have imagined it would have started out so hard for Ingrid Lindblad, a top amateur from Sweden whose on-course talent made up for some off-the-course frustrations last week while winning the second stage of LPGA Q School.
Needless to say the week did not get off to the best of starts. As the 23-year-old fifth-year senior at LSU was flying to Florida for the four-round affair, she had a layover in Atlanta. While at the airport she learned her suitcase was put on an earlier flight to Orlando than the one she was scheduled for. It was a little unusual, but it would get even odder when she arrived herself in Florida.
“As soon as I land at Orlando airport my AirTag is leaving the airport,” Lindblad said.
Apparently, her bag was being stolen. She quickly contacted police, filling out a pair of reports that explained what happened and itemized the lost clothing (Lindblad thankfully had her golf clubs still in her possession.)
“So I started the week with filing two police reports. We met up with the police where the AirTag was last seen,” she said. “That’s how my week started.”
Without any clothes, Lindblad went from the police station to a Target and Wal-Mart, spending $250 to get replacement golf clothes.
With a résumé that includes being a former European Ladies Amateur champion, runner-up at the 2022 Augusta National Women’s Amateur, low amateur at the 2022 U.S. Women’s Open and a four-time All-American at LSU, Lindblad managed to compartmentalize the off-course issues from her on-course goals. She went out and won the qualifier at Plantatation Golf & Country Club in Venice, Fla., by five shots, earning a spot in LPGA Q Series, the tour’s final stage of qualifying that takes place next month in Mobile, Ala.
“I feel like I went out today and I didn’t have a lot of swing thoughts,” Lindblad said after a 67 in the opening round on Tuesday. “My assistant coach, Alexis Rather, she said ‘just keep your feet where you are. Don’t try to be somewhere else.’ I texted her after the round and I said, ‘Hey, my feet were on the ground in Venice today.'”
By advancing to Q Series, Lindblad has secured an Epson Tour card for the 2024 season. But that’s as far as she plans to go for the time being. To play in Q Series required turning pro before the event, something Lindblad isn’t ready to do just yet.
“It’s my first real qualifying playing this week, so I talked a little bit to our coach for the Swedish team, and he was like, don't treat it as qualifying. Just treat it as a tournament,” Lindblad said. “At the beginning of the year, I'm like I am probably just going to go through the whole Q-Series and like peace out, but I was talking to my coaches, and I really like it at LSU. Like our coaches are awesome. This year, we have a really good team, so I just want to give it a chance to get another SEC and maybe a national championship.”
Come May, she can turn pro and pick up the deferred Epson Tour card.
“College, it's like such a safe place, like everything is set up for you, and just I feel like coming out when you're done with college, like you know you have somewhere to play,” Lindblad said. “I'm very happy that I'm able to play Stage II and just feel like I have somewhere to play when I'm done in college.”
Just hopefully without the accompanying drama.