Hawk's Point Golf Course
First-Round News & Notes
September 21, 2012
Tracy Stanford (@TRACYstanford), Jaclyn Sweeney (@JaclynSweeney22), Joy Trotter and Thidapa Suwannapura are the leaders in the clubhouse at the suspended first round of the Vidalia Championship.
The first round of the Vidalia Championship was delayed one hour 45 minutes due to heavy fog. Play for the day was then called for darkness at 7:24 p.m. Thirty-six players will return to Hawk’s Point to complete their first round Saturday morning at 7:45 a.m.
The second round of the Vidalia Championship will begin at 8:00 a.m.
Also currently at 3-under par thru 16 is Mesha Levister who will return Saturday morning to complete her first round.
Motivation… In its inaugural year, the Vidalia Championship proved to play a pivotal role in last year’s Volvik Race for the Card. Sydnee Michaels came into the event at No. 13 on the standings and with only the top-5 earning fully exempt status on the LPGA Tour status last year, she was on the outside looking in.
Michaels stepped up to the plate however and not only won the Vidalia Championship but won the season-ending event to finish No. 4 on the Volvik Race for the Card and earn her LPGA Tour card for this year.
This year, the top-10 on the Volvik Race for the Card earn fully exempt status on next year’s LPGA Tour and Jaclyn Sweeney (@JaclynSweeney22) is hoping to follow in Michael’s footsteps.
After firing a first-round 66 at last week’s Symetra Classic, Sweeney faltered a bit in the final two rounds and not only finished tied for 12th but slipped outside the top-10 on the Volvik Race for the Card standings for the first time in four weeks.
“I really didn’t play that badly in Charlotte,” said Sweeney. “Obviously 66 is a great round of golf then the next two days I couldn’t really get anything to fall and I shot 3-over on the back nine. I took some time to think about it but it’s just one of those things you have to put out of your mind. I know Sydnee Michaels won in Albany and she won here as well so it was kind of my goal to win both of these events. Sydnee is a really good player and she got her card last year after kind of being out of it so I am using that as motivation to get my card this year.”
So Amazing… Tracy Stanford (@TRACYstanford) was in one of the first groups to tee-off during Friday’s first round of the Vidalia Championship and after a 3-under 69, she found herself the clubhouse leader early in the day. Stanford, who has only finished inside the top-10 once this season only needed one word to sum up how she was feeling, “amazing”.
“Amazing,” Stanford said after her round “It’s a little different; I’ve kind of struggled the last few tournaments so it’s been good.”
Stanford, who carded four birdies and one bogey in the first round, credited improved putting for her impressive start.
“I made a lot of putts today,” said Stanford. “My putting has been getting a lot better but last week I almost misread everything I felt like. Today it was nice to put the two together, the speed and the read, and make some putts.”
Stanford is currently No 60 on the Volvik Race for the Card with a total earnings of $7,904. With two solid finishes in the remaining events, Stanford could potentially move her way into the top-10 and earn her LPGA Tour card for next season.
“I’m 60th on the money list right now so the last couple tournaments I’m just looking for a good finish,” said Stanford. “Coming into this I know if I win its $15,000 for the winner so I know it would move me up on the money list a lot closer, probably in the top-20. It has crossed my mind, it’s something everyone things about because everybody comes out here to win, that’s what we play for.”
It’s Not Over Until It’s Over… Paola Moreno (@paolamorenogolf), who is currently No. 3 on the Volvik Race for the Card standings, missed the cut at last week’s Symetra Classic but the Colombian made quite the comeback during today’s first round of the Vidalia Championship to fire a 2-under par 70.
“My putting worked really well today,” Moreno said after her round. “I had 26 putts and made a lot of up-and-downs. I didn’t strike the ball as well but I managed to get it up-and-down. I birdied three holes and just one bogey.”
Last week marked Moreno’s second missed cut out of the 10 events she has played this year. Moreno has posted four top-5 finishes this year including her second career Symetra Tour victory at the Eagle Classic.
With only two events remaining on this year’s Symetra Tour schedule, many would think Moreno would feel comfortable with where she stands on the Volvik Race for the Card standings but the University of Southern California graduate admitted on Friday, it’s not over until it’s over.
“The season is not over until it’s over,” said Moreno. “I’m just trying to play the best I can and enjoy it. It’s my first year here in Vidalia so it’s fun, it’s been going well and I’m look forward to finishing strong these last two events.”
White, who was the first tee-time off 10 along with Alexandria Buelow, admitted the duo benefited from their fast play and luck of the draw.
“I was really excited to be the first tee-time to begin with just so I could get it pretty quick,” White said with a smile. “I like to play a little faster, both Alex and I are like that and apparently I got a couple more benefits along the way.”
The benefits White referred to was an impressive 2-under par 70 that included six birdies and four bogeys. The 2-under par round matched White’s lowest of the season which came during the second round of the Credit Union Classic.
“I would say putting was my highlight, I had 27 putts today,” White said. “A lot of them were outside of 10-feet and that’s great, I like it when I do that. It makes things a little bit easier and takes pressure off of my long game.”
White currently stands at 118 on the money list but with two good finishes in the remaining tournaments, her goal is to bypass Stage II of Qualifying School and head straight to Stage III. The top-10 on the Symetra Tour money list at the end of the season who do not already have LPGA Tour status will go directly to Stage III of Qualifying School.
“I am at 118 so not where I want to be but a good tournament will definitely shoot me up there a little bit,” White said. “Really my focus is just playing well the rest of the season and hopefully getting myself into a good position where I can go to final stage of Q-School rather than having to go to second stage as soon as the season is over. Really that’s my goal for the rest of the season.”
Tweet of the Day… Needless to say, I have not teed off yet #fogdelay – Dolores White (@GoloDoloGolf)