Ireland’s Stephanie Meadow officially secured her full LPGA status for 2019 following her finish at the Symetra Tour Championship at LPGA International.
Meadow, who had been guaranteed a Top-10 finish on the Volvik Race for the Card Order of Merit following her gutsy performance last week didn’t need a big finish this week to ensure she joined the elite ranks on the LPGA Tour proper for next season, but she returned scores of 71, 69, 71 and saved her best of the week for the final day where she carded a 68 that included five birdies and just one bogey. The scores boosted her to T11 in the final event of the season on a -9 total and she finished in in 6th place overall on the OoM.
Following the 21st and final tournament of the 2018 Symetra Tour season, the Volvik Race for the Card top-10 was finalised and 10 players have earned a full LPGA Tour card for 2019. The victory and $33,750 winner’s cheque launched Ruixin Liu into the No. 1 position with $124,839 earned and bagged her the Player of the Year honour. She was one of three players in the top-10 that competed in all 21 events, joined by Stephanie Meadow and Charlotte Thomas.
Here is how they finished;
- Ruixin Liu – $124,839
- Dottie Ardina (Laguna, Philippines) – $97,822
- Pavarisa Yoktuan – $80,313
- Elizabeth Szokol (Winnetka, Illinois) – $76,612
- Linnea Ström (Hovas, Sweden) – $70,685
- Stephanie Meadow – $70,617
- Kendall Dye (Edmond, Oklahoma) – $63,579
- Charlotte Thomas – $60,952
- Isi Gabsa (Munich, Germany) – $60,386
- Dana Finkelstein (Chandler, Arizona) – $60,168
In the final event itself Ruixin Liu (Dalian, China) found her way into the winner’s circle for the third time this season, a 19-under par overall total to capture the 11th annual Symetra Tour Championship at LPGA International.
Entering the final round, Liu was tied with Pavarisa Yoktuan (Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand) at 18-under par overall. The two battled all afternoon, neither yielding an inch until a bogey on the par-3 17th by Yoktuan sealed the deal for Liu.
The victory makes it back-to-back wins for the second-year professional, as she captured the IOA Golf Classic title on Sept. 30. Her third piece of hardware this season came from the Island Resort Championship in late June.
“Last week and this week my putting has been really good and it means a lot to me to win three times,” said Liu, who finished No. 4 on Tour this year with 230 sub-par holes. “It is a really big step forward from season one to season two. It shows me that I have improved a lot and everything that I have worked for is worth it.”
“It means a lot to me because after 21 tournaments, being able to be the No. 1 on course, it feels really good and gives me momentum to move forward for next year on the LPGA,” Liu said. “For next year it helps knowing that I can do it here, so now make sure I can do it there.”
Meanwhile, an even par 72 today left Yoktuan one shot short of forcing a playoff in shooting for her first Symetra Tour victory. Three birdies helped Yoktuan tame the windy conditions, but three matching bogeys proved to be her downfall.
Nonetheless, she secures a LPGA Tour card for 2019 with a solo second finish in the Sunshine State.
“I wish I could have done better than this, but today was really hard, the greens were tough and it was very windy,” said Yoktuan, who ended the year No. 3 on Tour in scoring average at 70.208. “I did my best and Ruixin played so good, making a lot of putts. Even tough I finished runner-up I get my card. That’s the best part, so I’m really glad I can go next year.”
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