Stephanie Meadow kept up her challenge on the Volvik Race for the Card Order of Merit at the Garden City Charity Classic as her tied fourteenth place maintained her third spot behind Linea Strom and Dottie Ardina in the all important OoM.
Stephanie Meadow / Image from Symetra Tour
Meadow, who had been tied with Leona Maguire on six under and in 20th place at the start of the final day fired a 69 to add to her 68, 70 opening rounds for a nine under par finish. Her final day was a mixed bag with three bogeys and six birdies, including one at the last and she finished seven shots behind winner Allyssa Ferrell.
For Maguire, it was another solid performance in her rookie season on the Symetra Tour. She finished just outside the Top 10 in 11th place on ten under par following a final day 68 which added to her pair of openings 69s. Three birdies on the bounce on the front nine from the 4th to the 6th were followed by a bogey on the 7th but then back to back birdies on the 14th and 15th gave her her best round of the week.
Allyssa Ferrell (Edgerton, Wisconsin), the MIchigan State University alumna took the overall applause at the Buffalo Dunes Golf Course to step into the winner’s circle for the first time in her career after carding a bogey-free final round to finish at 16-under par overall and claim the title by two strokes.
“I don’t know if it has totally set in, just really happy with how I played,” said Ferrell. “Every given week out here, someone different can win and I am simply fortunate enough that I can be the winner here in Kansas.”
At the conclusion of play, Ferrell raised the Cecil and Francis O’Brate Memorial Trophy, named appropriately after the prominent philanthropic Garden City family with strong connections to the event including sponsors American Warrior, Inc., Palmer Manufacturing, Inc. and Samy Properties.
During her victory speech, Ferrell dedicated the win to sister Brooke, who can no longer play competitive golf and was on the bag this week in the Sunflower State. After dealing with tendonitis, torn cartilage and a pinched nerve, the former standout for the University of Wisconsin underwent four surgeries in nine months on her right arm starting last August.
On Tuesday, Brooke was cleared by doctors following her last surgery in May.
“To see her when she was kind of struggling at the beginning of the year was hard because I knew she is so much better,” said Brooke, who will soon begin working at Cherokee Country Club in Madison. “To not be able to golf, it has given Allyssa perspective, it’s given me perspective, so I feel like having us both on the course together and both perspectives collide made us very successful. Her dedicating the win definitely had me in tears.”
Ferrell has made the cut in four of the last five tournaments, recording three top-20 finishes over that span. This one in particular will replay in her memory for a long time to come.
“I kind of figured with how well I was playing that I was pretty close to the top,” Ferrell said. “I didn’t look at the scoreboard until after I putted on No. 17, just to know where I was. At the same time I didn’t want to know, but it was nice to make sure when I’m on the last hole if I need to press, or if par is my friend.”
Close behind Garden City Charity Classic champion Allyssa Ferrell was a trio of players at 14-under par overall including 2016 tournament winner Dana Finkelstein (Chandler, Arizona), Madison Pressel (Boca Raton, Florida) and Pavarisa Yoktuan (Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand).
The showing for Pressel was her best on the Symetra Tour since winning the 2014 Decatur Forsyth Classic.
“Anytime you can give yourself a chance to win is awesome and it’s been quite a while, so it feels pretty good,” said Pressel, who carded a 4-under par 68 today. “Three rounds in the 60s is always good and I made more birdies this week than I had in a really, really long time. It is definitely a confidence builder going into the last four events.”
VOLVIK RACE FOR THE CARD STANDINGS
Following the 17th tournament of the 2018 Symetra Tour season, the Volvik Race for the Card saw a decent amount of shifting within the top-10.
The win and $22,500 winner’s cheque moved Allyssa Ferrell up 48 spots to No. 21, having earned $33,896 through 16 events played. Here is a look at the current top-10 heading into the Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout at Mystic Creek Golf Club in El Dorado, Ark. from Sept. 14-16:
Dottie Ardina (Laguna, Philippines) – $74,616 Linnea Ström (Hovas, Sweden) – $59,939 Stephanie Meadow (Jordanstown, Northern Ireland) – $58,791 Charlotte Thomas (Guildford, England) – $55,453 Elizabeth Szokol (Winnetka, Illinois) – $53,878 Jenny Haglund (Karlstad, Sweden) – $52,001 Isi Gabsa (Munich, Germany) – $51,918 Pavarisa Yoktuan – $49,220 Stephanie Kono (Honolulu, Hawaii) – $47,312 Eun Jeong Seong (Yongin, Republic of Korea) – $46,921