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Maguire remains on track for LPGA graduation

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Leona Maguire dropped back on day three of the Symetra Tour Championship and now finds herself in T38 position heading to the final round in Daytona beach, Florida.

The Cavan native fired one birdie, one bogey and 16 pars in her level par round of 72 to remain at 5-under par for the tournament and while she improved her stats in fairways hit (13/14) and greens in regulation (15/18) it was her putting that let her down as she recorded 33 blows with the flat stick.

With one round left it’s still all to play for, but if Maguire can maintain her position she will graduate automatically to the LPGA for next season through the Volvik Race for the Card as she currently sits in 7th place based on current tournament standings.

Below is a projection of the top-10 based on the current Symetra Tour Championship leaderboard, along with each individual’s projected season money total.

1. Perrine Delacour (Paris, France) – $124,172
2. Patty Tavatanakit (Bangkok, Thailand) – $117,903

3. Ssu-Chia Cheng (Taipei, Chinese Taipei) – $99,507
4. Jillian Hollis (Rocky River, Ohio) – $98,060
5. Jenny Coleman (Rolling Hills Estates, California) – $96,735

6. Julieta Granada (Asuncion, Paraguay) – $92,625
7. Leona Maguire (County Cavan, Ireland) – $92,173
8. Robynn Ree (Redondo Beach, California) – $88,839
9. Esther Lee (Los Alamitos, California) – $85,642

10. Mind Muangkhumsakul (Banphai, Thailand) – $81,046

11. Min Seo Kwak (Seoul, Republic of Korea) – $73,052

12. Kyung Kim (Chandler, Arizona) – $71,310

There is a two-way tie at the top in the Tour Championship after a birdie on her final hole helped Laura Wearn (Charlotte, North Carolina) to a 3-under par 69 in the third round of  and provides good momentum heading into the last day of competition on the Jones Course at LPGA International.

The Furman University alumna sits alongside Sierra Sims (Charlotte, North Carolina) in setting the pace through 54 holes at 12-under overall and Wearn is searching for her second career win on the Symetra Tour.

“It was nice to have a birdie on the last because it seemed like I had close chances on Nos. 15-17 and it was really frustrating to not convert” said Wearn, the 2016 Gosling’s Dark ‘n Stormy Classic champion. “I was hitting good shots, but the back nine was so much better than the front. It was great to finish on the better side. The course has plenty of birdie opportunities, so will try to give myself a chance every hole.”

As for Sims, across 22 events played this season she has finished six tournaments under par and is right on her way to a seventh. There’s a lot on the line in the final round for Sims though, who is currently ranked No. 84 on the Volvik Race for the Card money list. The top-80 players secure Symetra Tour Category A membership for 2020 and then those from Nos. 11-35 earn automatic exemption into the second annual LPGA Q-Series.

“I wasn’t really nervous at all today because I am really just believing in myself,” Sims said. “Sometimes you get a little tired, but there’s so much adrenaline and I’m really excited. I want to work on hitting my putts past the hole. I have left a lot short, so I want to be more aggressive with my putting. Over the last two rounds, I’ve hit the ball really solid and am pretty happy with it all.”


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