Sophia Popov Denied Full LPGA Exemption Despite Major Win

The German is set to miss out on a five-year LPGA Tour exemption as she wasn't a member prior to winning the Women's Open

Sophia Popov Denied Full LPGA Exemption Despite Major Win
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The German is set to miss out on a five-year LPGA Tour exemption as she wasn't a member prior to winning the Women's Open

Sophia Popov Denied Full LPGA Exemption Despite Major Win

Every golfer wants to win Major championships, because of the legacy it gives you, the huge pay cheque on offer and the exemptions that come with them.

A Major gives you five years of guaranteed employment to set you up for a lucrative and successful career.

However, Women's Open champion Sophia Popov, as things stand, is missing out on a five year exemption to the LPGA Tour due to a ridiculous rule.

If you're not an LPGA Tour member, winning a Major will only get you exempt until the end of the following season.

Popov wasn't an LPGA Tour member at the time of her victory after she missed out at Q-School earlier this year by a single stroke.

What's more ridiculous, again as things stand, is that she isn't even in the field for the ANA Inspiration as the field was finalised earlier this year for the Major that should have taken place in April.

She's not even in the US Women's Open either as that gives out exemptions to the last five Women's Open winners up until last year.

“I definitely got a little bit frustrated about the whole thing,” Popov told

“It’s tough because I feel like I deserve the full five years of exemption from the LPGA, but at the same time, I understand the regulations and the fact that they can’t change the rules for a certain player.”

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We can only hope and imagine that the LPGA Tour, USGA and ANA Inspiration see sense and give Popov what she has rightly earned, a five year exemption and entry into the remainder of this year's Majors.

Related: Ian Poulter blasts "embarrassing" Popov LPGA exemption situation

It has been a crazy year and it's understandable that a few things may have been overlooked, but it must be fairly easy to right these wrongs.

Her manager is said to be in talks with the LPGA, let's hope that can see sense.

Popov looks to be in for the KPMG Women's PGA Championship as that tournament is offering spots to Major winners in the past five years AND in 2020.

Related: Sophia Popov What's in the bag?

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Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2 HL

Irons: Mizuno MP-H4 3-iron, Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5