Industry News

ECWPGT has first LPGA graduate via Epson Tour

Yan Liu has drama filled top ten finish

PONTE VEDRA, FL, Oct. 19, 2022 - The East Coast Women’s Pro Golf Tour now has its first card carrying member of the LPGA Tour. 24-year-old Yan Liu and nine other Epson Tour players were recognized at a ceremony on Sunday, October 9 at LPGA Headquarters in Daytona Beach, Florida after finishing in the Top 10 following the Epson Tour Championship. The Top 10 Epson Tour Official Money List finishers are rewarded with the receipt of their LPGA Tour cards. Propelled by winning the Epson Tour’s Four Winds Invitational over the summer, Liu secured her LPGA Tour card by finishing ninth on the Epson Tour Official Money List. 

Liu played in the first four ECWPGT events in 2022, earning $12,270 and ranking 13th on the ECWPGT’s season points list.  She earned $10,000 for her victory at Red Tail Country Club in Sorrento (FL).  She finished in the top 10 of all her ECWPGT events, following up her victory at Red Tail CC with a fourth place finish the at Mayfair Country Club in Orlando (FL). Liu, who hails from Xiamen, China, was an Epson Tour rookie in 2020.  In 2021, she played in 10 Epson Tour events, finishing 94th on the Official Money List that year.  In 2022, she had 21 Epson Tour starts, the most of any player on the LPGA’s feeder tour, earning $80,200 on her way to finishing ninth.  


Liu’s top ten finish Official Money List finish was not without drama.  She entered the Epson Tour Championship at the ninth position and was projected to hold that spot going into the final round on Sunday (October 9).  Through the 12th hole at even par of the day with just one birdie, however, she had dropped all the way to 14th projected, at just even par for the day.  She found an extra gear down the stretch, birdying four of the last six holes to finish with a 33 on the back and a 68 for the day, enough to move her into 17th for the event, earning her $3,472.  The tenth player on the list was merely $1,500 behind her and the 11th player on the Official Money list was just $3,293 behind her.  If Yan made just two fewer birdies down the stretch, she would have finished outside the Top Ten.

Gabby Thenn, who played in the ECWPGT’s PXG Women’s Match Play Championship in November of 2021, also graduated to the LPGA Tour via the Epson Tour.  She finished 7th on the Official Money List, having won the Garden City Charity Classic in April.  Sweden’s Linnea Strom is the season’s overall money winner $119,000 over 17 events.


“It was exciting watching Yan and Gabby’s ascent during the season, and I am tremendously happy for them both,” said ECWPGT Founder, Mark Berman. “This is exactly our mission: to create opportunities for players aspiring to the highest levels so they can build a successful career that affords them the opportunity to compete year-round and perhaps more importantly to stay sharp going into the bigger tours.  We see the work they put in, the dedication they’ve had since they were in elementary school.  Our goal is to graduate them from the ECWPGT as soon as they’re ready. We had more than 40 players regularly on the Epson Tour and several making LPGA Tour starts.  Yan as our first graduate will always have a place in the ECWPGT Hall of Fame.”

The East Coast Women’s Pro Golf Tour was launched in January of 2022, to provide an elevated experience on championship courses, purses worthy of pursuit and high-level competition.  To date, the ECWPGT has produced 14 events hosting more than 300 different players.  It has distributed more than $250,000 in earnings, including five $10,000 first-time winner’s checks.  Seven players qualified for the 2022 US Women’s Open Championship.  There are 67 ECWPGT players who advanced to the Second Stage of LPGA Q School either through earnings on the bigger tours or by finishing in the Top 100 of Stage One.  “The ECWPGT is providing necessary and meaningful opportunities for these women to continue to develop and play their way toward the LPGA Tour without having to travel all over the country,” said Patti Rizzo, 22-year LPGA Tour player and former Head Women’s Golf Coach at the University of Miami, and coach of 3-time ECWGPT Nataliya Guseva. “I wish we had this kind of tour when I was playing.”


About the East Coast Women’s Professional Golf Tour

The ECWPGT has a dual mission to create opportunities outside the ropes for women aspiring to the LPGA Tour and creating pathways and connections for them outside the ropes.  Based in Florida, the ECWPGT is one of only three women’s developmental tours in the U.S.  Launched in January 2022 to provide more playing and earning opportunities for professional female golfers, the ECWPGT is open to developmental professional players including those on the Epson Tour and Ladies European Tours and is also open to elite level amateurs and college players as well as LPGA Tour players outside the Top 150 on the Official Money List.  The Tour’s website is  Follow at @ecwpgt or #AintNoMiniTour.


Media Contact: 
Charlene Shirk, CSPR 

ECWPGT Contact:
Mark D. Berman, ECWPGT Founder