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Saturday, September 19, 2020

Maguire motors to a Top-5 finish at IOA Classic

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The 9-Hole Course is back in the limelight, and none more so in Ireland than Cruit Island, Mulranny, Castlegregory and Bushfoot

Leona Maguire enjoyed a great weekend at the IOA Classic in Florida as she recorded back to back rounds of three under par to finish in a three-way tie for fifth place on six-under par.

Maguire, who has struggled for some form in recent weeks, dug deep after her opening level par round to move herself into contention and her final round included four birdies in her opening five holes before a bogey on the 7th dropped her back to six-under.

Two more birdies on 9 and 10 brought her to -8 for the tournament and within striking distance of the lead but a double bogey on 16 put paid to any ideas she may have had in that regard.

However, T5 in Florida has seen her leap-frog two of her LPGA card competitors, she is now in 5th place on the Volvik Race for the Card standings with $90,610 and she is now $20,000 ahead of the 11th placed player heading to the final event of the season, the Tour Championship from October 3-6.

At the head of proceedings it was a wire-to-wire victory for Marta Sanz Barrio who held a share fot he lead after day one and a solo one shot lead heading to the final round.  She converted par on the 18th in the final round to cap a 2-under par 69 and secure the victory in the sixth annual IOA Golf Classic, for her second career win on the Symetra Tour.

“It is extremely sweet and I’m really happy with the win, needed it for a chance to make the top-10 this year,” said Sanz Barrio, who climbs 14 spots to No. 13 in the Volvik Race for the Card and is just $14,663 out of the mix. “I feel that my game is the best it has been all season, so I’m ready to keep fighting and hopefully get into the group.”

The fourth time truly was the charm, as the IOA Golf Classic marked Sanz Barrio’s fourth appearance in a final pairing this year. Furthermore, the path was a little different from her first title on the “Road to the LPGA” at the 2018 FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship when she came back from two shots behind.

“It is definitely really exciting and I’m proud of myself, especially since I’ve struggled to hold a lead all year,” Sanz Barrio said. “I’m really glad I learned from the previous experiences and held on. It does get into your head, from all afternoon yesterday to all today thinking about who is going to catch me. You try and play your game, but being the one that everybody is chasing makes it satisfying to pull through.”

A final round 4-under par 67 left Mind Muangkhumsakul (Banphai, Thailand) one stroke short of the IOA Golf Classic crown at 12-under overall. Nonetheless, the 20-year-old earned a third runner-up finish in 2019.

To begin the day, Muangkhumsakul found three straight birdies to tie the lead at 11-under par. From there, she bounced back and forth between the lead, a share of the lead and right in the hunt. However, a bogey on the par-3 18th ended hope of raising a trophy in central Florida.

“Today and all week, I’m happy with my game,” said Muangkhumsakul, who moves up two spots in the Volvik Race for the Card and is now No. 10. “On the first three holes, I made birdie to give me a lot of confidence right from the start. I have to do my best and work very hard for the last tournament. I will be ready and can hopefully keep this spot.”

VOLVIK RACE FOR THE CARD STANDINGS AFTER WEEK TWENTY-TWO

Following the 22nd tournament of the 2019 Symetra Tour season, the Volvik Race for the Card welcomes a fresh top-10.

The victory and $26,250 winner’s checque move Sanz Barrio up 14 spots to No. 13 with $66,383 earned in 20 total starts this season. Here is a look at the current top-10 heading into the 12th annual Symetra Tour Championship on the Jones Course at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla. from October 3-6:

1. Perrine Delacour (Paris, France) – $121,181
2. Patty Tavatanakit (Bangkok, Thailand) – $116,340

3. Ssu-Chia Cheng (Taipei, Chinese Taipei) – $97,325
4. Jillian Hollis (Rocky River, Ohio) – $96,959
5. Leona Maguire (County Cavan, Ireland) – $90,610
6. Julieta Granada (Asuncion, Paraguay) – $88,848

7. Robynn Ree (Redondo Beach, California) – $86,657
8. Jenny Coleman (Rolling Hills Estates, California) – $83,801
9. Esther Lee (Los Alamitos, California) – $81,865
10. Mind Muangkhumsakul – $81,046

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