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Sunday, February 28, 2021

Meadow thankful after matching career best LPGA Tour finish

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Stephanie Meadow credited the huge team behind her after matching her career best LPGA Tour finish with a third place result at the Pelican Women’s Championship.

Playing in the final group alongside eventual champion Sei Young Kim and Ally McDonald, the Jordanstown professional recovered from bogeys at her opening two holes to post a hard-fought one-under par round of 69 for a nine-under par tournament total and a podium finish. The result ties her career-best performance, last earned at the 2014 US Women’s Open and is proof that the hard work is paying off for the now 28-year old.

“I think just a lot of hard work paying off,” Meadow beamed after banking a cheque worth $98,088. “Obviously it’s important to thank everyone that has gotten me here. It’s not just me. There is a huge team behind me. My fiancé [Kyle], my coaches, Terry, Debby, my sports psych who is amazing.”

“It has been a long journey, but a great one and you learn so much about yourself. Golf is one of those things where you always feel like you can do better, but I’m pretty satisfied where I’m at right now.”

Since the LPGA Tour’s restart Meadow had missed two cuts and struggled to find the consistency she had to start 2020 when she had her season-best finish at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open (T13). Those worries are now behind her, however, and her score of nine-under par 271 is a 72-hole career-best and tops her previous low of 274 from the 2019 Volunteers of America Classic.

Meadow, who played her way into this year’s renewal of the Volunteers of America Classic – starting December 3 – with her finish in Florida, is excited to carry the momentum into the precursor to this year’s US Women’s Open a week later in Houston.

“Sometimes you get the confidence and you know you can do it, and you just have to keep the pedal to the metal basically,” Meadow said. “No letting up!”

Playing alongside Meadow in the final group, South Korean Kim claimed her second straight victory, closing with an even-par 70 for a 14-under par total and a three-stroke win over Ally McDonald. The KPMG Women’s PGA winner way back on October 11 in her last start, Kim found herself enjoying that winning feeling again, despite the gap between tournaments, drenched in champagne during the victory celebration.

“My friends put it on my head and then my T-shirt and everything,” Kim said. “Feel like take a shower in the champagne. I still smell. And then drink a little bit and feel — feels, you know, like little drunk.”

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