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Symetra Tour Championship: Who will earn LPGA cards for 2018?

As most of my readers know, I don't do many blogs on the Symetra Tour over the course of the season, but this week I feel the importance of this event warrants major attention. Ten LPGA tour cards will be rewarded at the completion of this tournament!


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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 2017 season. The Symetra Tour Championship starts on Thursday, October 5 and concludes on Sunday October 8. 

After 21 events in 14 states around the country, the top 108 rising stars in women’s golf are at LPGA International to vie for a share of the $200,000 purse and the winner’s payout of $30,000. The field includes players from the United States and 23 countries around the globe. 

These is the ten players who would earn cards if the season had ended today:

1- Benyapa Niphatsophon $109,736
2- Celine Boutier                  108,690
3- Hannah Green                 105,054
4- Nanna Koerstz Madsen    87,373 
5- Eyrnne Lee                       78,128
6- Lydsey Weaver                 74,089
7- Anne-Catherine Tanguay  73,309
8- Yu Liu                                71,354
9- Katelyn Dambaugh           63,023 
10- Emma Talley                   61,800


Image result for nanna koerstz madsen wins
Nanna Koerstz Madsen won 3 times this year on the Symetra Tour earning her 2017 playing privileges, and full time 2018 playing privileges on the LPGA Tour.


The battle to get into the top 10 will be as fierce as ever. Everyone in the top 23 still has a mathematical chance to finish inside the top 10. If No. 23 on the money list, Laura Wearn (Charlotte, N.C.), wins the $30,000 she would move to $61,914, which is $114 more than No. 10, Emma Talley (Princeton, Ky.), has currently earned. Talley is $7,639 in front of No. 11 Daniela Darquea (Quito, Ecuador).

This is an incredibly strong field with all the top players fighting for a spot in the top 10 or a chance to skip Stage II of LPGA Qualifying Tournament (top 15 after the top 10 excluding LPGA Tour members). The top 23, all with a fighter’s chance to make the top 10, are in the field. In fact, the top 30 on the Volvik Race for the Card money list are all in the field. 

There are also 23 current LPGA members in the field.


WHO’S LOCKED FOR THE LPGA

The Symetra Tour has determined that the top five on the Volvik Race for the Card money list - No. 1 Benyapa Niphatsophon, No. 2 Celine Boutier, No. 3 Hannah Green, No. 4 *Nanna Koerstz Madsen and No. 5 Erynne Lee - have already secured their LPGA Tour cards for 2018. Regardless of what they do this week, they are safe to finish in the top 10. 


11-23 HAVE A CHANCE AT A TOUR CARD

Every year, someone from outside the top 10 jumps into the top 10 at the final event. There are 13 players currently outside the top 10 that have a chance to spoil the party for someone inside the top 10. 
Here is a look at what players 11 through 23 must do to have a chance. The projections are based on solo finishes and a cut of exactly 60 players. It also assumes that players in the top 10 don’t earn money.

RANKINGPLAYERMONEY EARNEDMINIMUM FINISHNEW TOTAL
11Daniela Darquea$54,1615th ($8,857)$63,018 (10th)
12Sophia Popov$49,5073rd ($14,102)$63,609 (9th)
13Kendall Dye$48,0873rd ($14,102)$62,189 (10th)
14Paola Moreno$45,5912nd ($19,363)$64,954 (9th)
15Elizabeth Szokol$45,0582nd ($19,363)$64,421 (9th)
16Ruixin Liu$37,329Win ($30,000)$67,329 (9th)
17Kim Welch$37,975Win ($30,000)$67,975 (9th)
18Daniela Iacobelli$35,607Win ($30,000)$65,607 (9th)
19Caroline Inglis$34,754Win ($30,000)$64,754 (9th)
20Allison Emrey$32,908Win ($30,000)$62,908 (10th)
21Brittany Marchand$32,638Win ($30,000)$62,638 (10th)
22Liv Cheng$31,965Win ($30,000)$61,965 (10th)
23Laura Wearn$31,914Win ($30,000)$61,314 (10th)
For the first time in the 37-year history of the Symetra Tour, three players have earned over $100,000 in a single-season. Niphatsophon ($109,736), Boutier ($108,690) and Green ($105,054) have all crossed six-figures. There are five other players that have a chance to cross $100,000 this week. 

PLAYER OF THE YEAR RACE 

The coveted Symetra Player of the Year award, given annually to the player that finishes atop the money list, is down to four. No. 1 Benyapa Niphatsophon has earned $1,046 more than No. 2 Boutier. No. 3 Green is just $4,682 short of Niphatsophon. No. 4 Koerstz Madsen can only win the Symetra Player of the Year award with a win. She is $22,363 behind Niphatsophon. 
If Niphatsophon happens to miss the cut, Boutier can surpass her with a 46th place finish. 
Niphatsophon has only missed one cut this season. 

GAELLE TRUET ROOKIE OF THE YEAR IS DOWN TO THREE

While Niphatsophon is a first-year Symetra Tour player, she played on the LPGA in 2016 and is not technically a Symetra Tour rookie. Therefore, Celine Boutier is in the driver’s seat to win the Gaelle Truet Rookie of the year. Hannah Green is just $3,636 behind Boutier. Nanna Koerstz Madsen is in the mix, but she must win in order to have any chance. 
Play will start at 8:00 a.m. all four rounds. The final-round will be broadcast on Facebook Live from 1:00-3:00 p.m. with host Amy Rogers and analyst Gail Graham, a two-time LPGA Tour winner. 

UPDATE: This has now been changed to a 54 hole tournament because of bad weather. First round scheduled to be completed on Saturday. With final round now scheduled for Monday.

Here are the leaders when first round play was suspended.
1 Yu Liu -5 F
2 Emma Talley -4 F
3 Celine Boutier -3 F
3 Cassidy Teare -3 F
5 Louise Ridderstrom -2 F
5 Benyapa Niphatsophen -2 F
5 Margarita Ramos -2 7
5 Rebecca Artis -2 6
5 Cindy LaCrosse -2 5
10 Raegan Bremer -1 F
10 Jade Panos -1 F
10 Hannah Green -1 F
10 Nannette Hill -1 F
10 Anne-Cathererine Tanguay -1 F
10 Shannon Fish -1 F
10 Chirapat Jao-Javanil -1 F
10 Madison Pressel -1 4
10 11 other players still on course -1





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