LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech senior golfer Gabby Barker as well as three Lady Raider alumnae will take part in the first stage of qualifying for the LPGA and Symetra Tours on Thursday at the Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California.
Barker, who is playing as an amateur, will be joined by Hannah Arnold, Sarah Brown and Tracy Stanford in the 72-hole tournament that is the first of three stages to earn LPGA membership. The initial stage features members of the Symetra Tour as well as the top amateurs from around the world.
Approximately 361 players are slated to compete in the tournament, which will see its field cut to roughly 130 players following Saturday's third round. All players who complete 54 holes will receive Symetra Tour status for the 2018 season.
The top 60 players (and ties) at the conclusion of 72 holes will move on to the second stage of qualifying on Oct. 19-22 at the Plantation Golf and Country Club in Venice, Florida. The third and final qualifying stage will be Nov. 29-Dec. 3 at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Florida.
This will be the first attempt at LPGA qualifying for Barker, who has become one of the most successful golfers in school history over her three seasons. The 2016 Big 12 Player of the Year, Barker boasts a 73.4 career scoring average that is on pace to snap the school record of 74.0 set by current LPGA standout Kim Kaufman (2009-13).
Barker enters her 2017-18 senior season with three individual titles already on her resume, the most for a Lady Raider in program history. In addition to her individual success, she has led Tech to three NCAA Regional appearances and two trips to the NCAA Championships in both 2015 and 2017.
Brown was teammates with Barker during Tech's historic run to the match play portion of the 2015 NCAA Championships where the Lady Raiders finished tied for fifth nationally. Brown played two seasons (2013-15) under head coach JoJo Robertson after transferring to Tech from Central Arkansas.
Arnold was also part of multiple NCAA Regional teams during her playing career from 2010-14, while Stanford was a two-year member with the Lady Raiders (2006-08) who helped push Tech to an appearance at the 2008 NCAA Central Regional.
Scoring updates will be available throughout the weekend at LPGA.com as well as via @TexasTechWGolf on Twitter.