Savannah Grewal is just trying to drink in this moment.
Grewal, from Mississauga, Ont., will officially become a professional golfer next week when she enters the third stage of the LPGA Tour’s qualifying school. Turning pro is a requirement for the tournament, and the third-highest ranked Canadian on the women’s amateur golf rankings welcomes the challenge.
“To be able to make it to Stage 3 my first time around and then just to it also being my first professional event, I think I just want to really enjoy each moment and take it one step at a time,” said Grewal. “Obviously, I want to make it to the LPGA Tour, but I think, getting there is an accomplishment and in those moments, I just want to really stay where my feet are.”
Lauren Kim of Surrey, B.C., is ranked 31st in the women’s amateur golf rankings, Monet Chun of Richmond Hill, Ont., is 89th, and Grewal is 122nd.
Grewal reached those heights on the strength of her play for Clemson University in South Carolina, where she played for five seasons, getting an extra year of U.S. collegiate eligibility because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
She was first-team All-ACC for her accomplishments on the course and academically, finishing the year with 71.77 stroke average, best in Clemson history. Alice Hewson, who now plays on the Ladies European Tour, held the previous school record of 72.10.
That included a win at this year’s Cougar Classic, a collegiate event hosted by College of Charleston, at Yeamans Hall Club in Hanahan, S.C.
“It has always pretty much been my dream to play professional golf, since I was eight years old,” said Grewal. “There was never really a doubt in my mind that I want to play professional, it was always the end goal.”
With that in mind, Grewal decided to go to the LPGA Tour’s Q-School this year.
Grewal tied Japan’s Suzuka Yamaguchi at 15 under for a two-stroke victory at Stage 1 on Aug. 31. She followed that up with a tie for sixth, 10 shots behind the winner Ingrid Lindblad of Sweden, at Stage 2 on Oct. 20.
Those strong showings earned her a card on the second-tier Epson Tour, the feeder circuit for the LPGA Tour, as well as a spot at Stage 3.
That led to a conversation with coaches Kelley Hester and Erica Popson at Clemson about her future at the school.
“We had talked about (Q-school) when I had decided that I was going to come back from my fifth year,” said Grewal, who had already completed a pre-med degree but would have studied French as a major in her fifth year in university. “At that time, you didn’t have to turn pro to play in Stage 3 and then they changed that rule.
“When (the LPGA Tour) did change that rule we talked about it and they said, ‘Yeah, if you make it to Stage 3 go ahead, go turn pro, do your thing.”
Grewal will practice at Clemson’s golf facilities for the next week before heading to the Magnolia Grove Golf Course in Mobile, Ala., for Tuesday’s practice rounds. The tournament is set to begin Nov. 30.
“I’m just making sure I’m checking off all the boxes,” said Grewal of her training program. “Chipping, pitching, and bunker game, so everything all around.
“It’s nice that I have some time with American Thanksgiving break now so I can take this time to really focus in.”