Malaysia's Ashley Lau has relinquished her amateur status to play in next week's LPGA Q-Series as a professional.

Lau made the decision to meet a new Q-Series criteria that requires players to compete as professionals. The Q-Series is the final stage of qualifying for the LPGA Tour and takes place over two gruelling weeks in Alabama, at Magnolia Grove in Mobile (December 1-4) and Highland Oaks in Dothan (December 8-11). .

"Since I started playing golf, I knew I wanted to play on the LPGA Tour. The opportunity has finally come knocking on the door, therefore I have taken this opportunity to chase after my dreams," said Lau.

To earn LPGA status for 2023, Lau will need to make the 72-hole cut to top 70 and ties and finish inside the top 45 and ties after the cumulative eight rounds. Players finishing in positions 1 to 20 and ties earn LPGA status in Category 14, while players finishing in positions 21-45 and ties earn LPGA status in Category 15 and Epson Tour status in Category C. Those who finish outside the top 45 and ties and who complete all four pre-cut rounds will earn Epson Tour status.

"I'm looking forward to it! It will be a little weird playing as a professional and hopefully I get comfortable with that soon; but I will still keep my goal as a player, which is to have fun and simplify things as much as possible," noted Lau, who hails from Bintulu in Sarawak.

Lau enjoyed a much-decorated collegiate golf career with the University of Michigan and was ranked as high as 26th on the World Amateur Golf Ranking. She secured her place in the Q-Series with a T18 finish in last week's Qualifying Stage 2 at Plantation Golf & Country Club in Venice, Florida.

"It's been a tough fall season for me, but I'm really happy with the way my swing came together last week. I'm really glad I scrambled well with the gruelling winds down in Florida," said the 22-year-old golfer.

Lau's long time-coach, Fergal McGeown, backed her decision to take the next step in her golf career.

"I've discussed this with Michigan head coach Jan Dowling. It's a difficult decision, especially only having 48 hours to decide ... that's a tough call to make in such a short time. But Ashley has the talent and desire and, more importantly, she has done the preparation. I would hate to see her in a few years wondering what might have been if she decided not to do it. Trust and belief," said McGeown.

McGeown, who is based in Malaysia as programme director for the Tunas Bestari Golf Academy run by TSM Charity Golf, noted that Lau's game is on track.

"She struggled a little with her swing in the month before Stage 2, so we went back to basic drills, getting her feel back. She seems back on track and, since the Q-Series is next week, we won't be doing anything too technical and will focus on finding her tempo and confidence. From now, it's all about belief in her ability," noted the Australian.