Symetra Tour Championship presented by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
LPGA International, Jones Course
Daytona Beach, Florida
The Symetra Tour, Road to the LPGA, comes to Daytona Beach for the final event of this historic 2015 season. The Symetra Tour Championship presented by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University starts on Thursday, October 15. With nine months of competition and 22 events in the books, ten players will earn coveted LPGA Tour cards after the final round of play on Sunday.
This is the ten players who would earn cards if the season had ended today:
|1||Molinaro , Giulia||$68,632.00||18|
|2||Park , Annie||$66,684.00||10|
|3||Lopez , Lee||$60,995.00||21|
|5||Iacobelli , Daniela||$60,703.00||21|
|4||Holmqvist , Dani||$60,171.00||19|
|7||Hurst , Vicky||$57,814.00||14|
|6||Llaneza , Alejandra||$57,802.00||18|
|8||Grice , Casey||$54,501.00||21|
|9||James , Augusta||$53,077.00||20|
|10||Rohanna , Rachel||$52,314.00||20|
The top 108 up-and-coming professionals from the United States and 17 countries around the globe will compete one final time for a $150,000 total tournament purse. The winner will earn $22,500 and could jump into the top 10 depending on their current standing on the money list.
First-round play begins on Thursday, October 15 and the four round event concludes on Sunday, October 18. There will be a cut made to the top 70 and ties following second round play on Friday. This is the fifth 72-hole event of the season, which is up from just two a year ago. Play will begin at 8:00 a.m. all four days. A split tee start will be used on Thursday-Saturday and a single-tee start will be used on Sunday.
mathematically earn a card at this point.
The Volvik Race for the Card money list is tighter than it has ever been. The margin for error is so small this week that No. 11, Haruka Morita-WanyaoLu, could move into the top 10 with a 47th place finish. Further, No. 3 Lee Lopez is just $9,401 in front of Morita-WanyaoLu. For comparison, the gap between No. 3 and No. 11 heading into the Symetra Tour Championship last year was $18,694.
The incredibly interesting race to watch is between No. 11 Morita-WanyaoLu ($51,594), No. 12 Brianna Do ($51,037) and No. 13 Lindy Duncan ($50,315). All three have had stellar years and are more than capable of squeezing into the top 10. Morita-WanyaoLu won the Symetra Classic and has five top 10’s, Do just finished solo second at the IOA Golf Classic on Sunday to post a sixth top 10 and Duncan has seven top 10’s.
There always seems to be drama on Sunday of the Symetra Tour Championship. Every year since 2007, a player outside the top 10 has jumped into the top 10 with a strong finish at the season finale. It is also interesting to note that only one player each of the last seven years has gone from outside the top 10 to inside at the finale. The 2006 season was the last time nobody from outside the top 10 earned a card at the final tournament. The last year that multiple players moved into the top 10 after the last event was 2004 when Kris Tamulis and Malinda Johnson went from 16th to ninth and 11th to fifth respectively.
Since 1999, six players that won the final event went on to earn a card - Candy Hannemann (‘03), Malinda Johnson (‘04), Vicky Hurst (‘08), Cindy LaCrosse (‘10), Sydnee Michaels (‘11) and Daniela Iacobelli (‘12).
PROJECTIONS FOR 11-23 ON TRYING TO EARN A CARD: Here is a look at what players 11-23 must do in order to have a chance to earn a card. The minimum finishes assume that the players in the top 10 don’t earn additional money. The projections also assume payouts for solo finishes. Keep in mind that No. 10 on the money list has currently earned $52,314.
|Player||Current Earnings||Minimum Finish||Toal with Min. Finish|
|11. Haruka Morita-WanyaoLu||$51,594||47th||$52,327|
|12. Brianna Do||$51,037||31th||$52,321|
|13. Lindy Duncan||$50,315||18th||$52,340|
|14. Jimin Kang (Withdrew Mon.)||$46,612||5th||$53,047|
|15. Maude-Aimee Leblanc||$44,809||4th||$52,772|
|16. Caroline Westrup||$44,243||3rd||$54,498|
|17. Madeleine Sheils||$43,418||3rd||$53,673|
|18. Chie Arimura||$43,410||3rd||$53,665|
|19. Samantha Richdale||$40,701||2nd||$54,789|
|20. Brittany Benvenuto||$39,577||2nd||$53,665|
|21. Brittany Altomare||$33,518||Win||$56,018|
|22. Katie Kempter||$33,094||Win||$55,594|
|23. Dottie Ardina||$30,129||Win||$52,629|
SYMETRA TOUR PLAYER OF THE YEAR STILL WIDE OPEN: The Symetra Tour Player of the Year goes to the player that earns the most money at seasons end. Since No. 1 Molinaro is not in the field, the door is open for anyone in the top 14 to overtake her with a win. No. 2 Annie Park needs to finish 18th to pass Molinaro. No. 3 Lee Lopez needs a third place finish or better to potentially pass Molinaro.
GAELLE TRUET ROOKIE OF THE YEAR RACE: Annie Park is in the driver’s seat for the Gaelle Truet Rookie of the Year award. Park won her fourth career professional start at the Toyota Danielle Downey Classic and never looked back. She won the PHC Classic in Milwaukee two weeks later and earned the hat trick by winning the Prairie Band Casino & Resort Charity Classic in mid-September.
The closest rookie to Park is Augusta James, who is ninth on the money list. She would need at least a solo second place finish to pass her.
The last player to win Symetra Player of the Year and Gaelle Truet Rookie of the Year in the same season was Mina Harigae in 2009. Harigae finished 81st on the LPGA Tour money list this season. She has six career top 10 finishes on the LPGA. In 2008, Vicky Hurst was the player of the year and the rookie of the year. Others to win both in the same year include: Song-Hee Kim (2006) and Lorena Ochoa (2002).
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