ATHENS, Ga. — Former Georgia All-American Bailey Tardy finished second at the final stage of the LPGA Tour’s Q-Series on Sunday to earn her card for the 2023 season. Tardy completed the eight-round event at a combined 27-under, posting six rounds in the 60s and closing with a 7-under 65.
“I’m ecstatic,” Tardy said. “Just a lot of hard work, and it all paid off the last two weeks. I don’t know, it’s kind of surreal right now. I think it’ll hit me a little bit later. But I can finally say I’m an LPGA member.
“I didn’t want to come to Q-School at all,” Tardy said. “Even at the beginning of the year, I told everyone, ‘I’m not going to Q-School. I’m not doing it. That’s not what I want to do.’ And I’m so happy I did.”
The final stage of the Q-Series included eight rounds, four at Magnolia Grove in Mobile, Ala., on Dec. 1-4 followed by four more at Highland Oaks in Dothan, Ala., on Dec. 8-11. The top 45 golfers and ties after the eighth round received LPGA status for the 2023 season.
Tardy posted rounds of 72-67-69-69 to cover the first four rounds at 9-under, leaving her five shots back on the leaderboard and within the cut for her card. She followed that with loops of 68-70-67-65 to ascend to the runner-up spot in the individual field. Tardy’s final round effort was the loop of the day for the field.
The accomplishment was a testament to Tardy’s perseverance after she barely failed to secure Tour status during each of the past three years. In 2020, she finished sixth in the Symetra Tour’s money list, one position and just $343 short of earning her card. In 2021, Tardy wrapped up the season 12th on the Symetra’s money list, two spots shy of Tour membership. This year, Tardy completed her campaign at 11th on the Futures tour, now the Epson Tour, again one position away from being able to join the LPGA.
“(That taught me) that I’m good enough to be out here,” Tardy said. “I think I really proved myself on Epson Tour this year, and even these past two weeks (at Q-Series). And I’ve also learned the talent on the Epson Tour is insane. I think if you are consistently in the top 15 there, then you can survive on the LPGA Tour, especially from what I’ve seen from some of the girls out here.
“I mean, just gives me all the confidence in the world that I’ll be able to survive on the LPGA if I continue playing the way I do.”
Now 26, Tardy was expected to move smoothly from college golf to the LPGA. The Peachtree Corners native and Norcross High School graduatewas a two-time All-American and the 2016 SEC Freshman of the Year for the Bulldogs. She recorded the second-best stroke average in school history during her first season at Georgia, a 72.06 mark that included par-or-better efforts in 22 of 32 rounds.
Tardy was a two-time individual winner for the Bulldogs. She shot a school-record 12-under tally to secure medalist honors at the 2015 Windy City Collegiate and led Georgia to a sweep of the team and individual titles at the 2016 NCAA Bryan Regional.
Tardy eventually turned pro midway through her senior year but remained in school to graduate from UGA in May of 2019. She has spent much of the time since oh so close to ascending to the LPGA.
While Tardy will be competing as an LPGA member for the first time, she is no stranger to competing at the highest level of professional golf. Tardy qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open in 2014, 2016 and 2017 as an amateur.