LPGA Q School rocked with cheating scandal that comes with surprising twist

Gabby Lemieux, who plays on the Epson Tour, disqualified herself from the first stage of LPGA Qualifying School in a shocking turn of events.

The 27-year-old, who played collegiately at Texas Tech, called out her playing partner for cheating, saying she incorrectly marked and replaced her ball on the green.

“The person didn’t put their ball back correctly, unfortunately. It’s not my word against hers. Our playing partners and caddies witnessed it also.”

“If you want to play professional golf, even if it was half an inch off… it is still cheating,” Lemieux posted to her Instagram account.

Lemieux reported to tournament officials after finishing her round that one of her competitors was marking her ball incorrectly on the green. She would place the marker beside her ball, and upon placing it back down would move it in front of the mark. This reportedly happened more than once.

But shockingly, Lemieux, who must have been distracted by the improper ball placement, signed an incorrect scorecard following her round.

Signing an incorrect score warrants a disqualification.

Epson Tour Championship, Gabby Lemieux

Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

“While in the scoring area, we hashed it out to figure out what we needed to do,” Lemieux continued on Instagram.

“In the process of doing so, I signed a wrong scorecard. The lady repeated 75 back to me and I acknowledged that it was right. A score on hole 15 was wrong. I bogeyed the hole instead of paring. I was sitting in the car when I noticed they had me for a 74. I marched back in there to make sure that the score wasn’t just wrong online.

“Unfortunately, I did sign a wrong scorecard and I am DQ from Stage 1.”

Over 300 golfers competed in the opening stage of the 2023 LPGA qualifying school this past week. Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California, and Indian Wells Country Club in Indian Wells, California, hosted the competition.

The second stage will be in Florida in mid-October, and the final stage, the Q-Series, will take place in Alabama from Nov. 30 to Dec. 5.

Q-School, for both men and women, is an absolute grind. A mental marathon, one could say.

But when grinding through the first stage and trying to “protect the field,” as Lemieux said in her post, she failed to focus on one of the most important aspects of competition: signing the correct scorecard.

“I did my part to save the field from a cheater,” Lemieux added. “Unfortunately, I was too consumed with that to realize a score was wrong on my scorecard. I am glad that I noticed and called myself out. We need more honest people and better professionals to hold themselves to higher standards so we don’t have to worry about this.”

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.

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