VisitMesa.com Gateway Classic at Longbow Golf Club final notes

Jaclyn Sweeney

Jaclyn Sweeney with her trophy after winning the VisitMesa.com Gateway Classic at Longbow Golf Club in Mesa, Arizona.

VisitMesa.com Gateway Classic at Longbow Golf Club
Longbow Golf Club
Final-Round News & Notes
February 24, 2012

Lead Note
See you at the RR Donnelley!
Volvik Race For the Card Kicks-Off at the VisitMesa.com Gateway Classic at Longbow golf Club
Jaclyn Sweeney Wins Tifosi Optics Sunglasses for Final Round Low Score

Jaclyn Sweeney fired a final-round 5-under 67 in the midst of chilly temperatures and windy conditions to win the VisitMesa.com Gateway Classic at Longbow Golf Club.

Sweeney began the day two-strokes behind second round leaders Alena Sharp, Stephanie Kono, Tiffany Joh, and Jenny Suh but the Bradenton, Fla. native struck early with an unconventional birdie at the par-5 first.

“I actually started off with a birdie on the first hole, probably a different way than most players,” said Sweeney. “I hit it into the left trap, topped my second shot into the fairway and then hit a pitching wedge from 120 yards to about 18-feet and rolled-in the putt.”

Sweeney immediately gave a stroke back at the par-4 second then reeled off six consecutive pars until her next birdie came at the par-5 ninth. A member of the tour since 2008, Sweeney admitted following her victory that she left herself with a few knee knocking two-footers throughout the day.

“I bogeyed the next hole then made a lot of pars,” said Sweeney. “I left myself with a lot of two-footers which is usually fine for me, I usually just tap them in, but today I was just really negative and was like I’m just going to mark the ball until I get in a better state of mind.”

Sweeney made the turn at 1-under for the day until she rolled in a 40-foot birdie putt at the par-3 11th to move her to 2-under.

Suh looked to be in command of the tournament and held a three-stroke lead heading into the par-4 13th until a double-bogey followed immediately by a bogey at the par-4 14th moved Sweeney into striking distance.

Sweeney capitalized on the opportunity and went on to notch back-to-back birdies at Nos. 15 and 16 even after going against her father’s advice who was on her bag all week.

“I was talking with my dad on 15, I hit a good drive and I had just played that hole this morning to finish up my round,” said Sweeney. “I told him I don’t like this lie and he told me to just go for it but I knew there was no reason for me to go for it because I could make a birdie with a wedge in my hand. I just laid up to 100 yards, hit a nine iron because it was so strong into the wind, hit it to six feet and made the putt. I turned to him and said see, I can make a birdie the hard way as well.”

Sweeney, who won in Albany, NY last year, started feeling the nervous but was able to calm herself down and with extreme poise and put an exclamation mark on her victory with a birdie at the par-4 18th.

“It was a great feeling,” said Sweeney. “I wasn’t as nervous as I was in Albany because I hit such a good shot in to the 18th hole and I played really smart today. I have played so much golf in the wind in Florida and it was really windy today so I think that helped.”

Sweeney earned a two-stroke victory over LPGA Tour member Alena Sharp who fired a final-round 1-under 71.

 

See you at the RR Donnelley! Jaclyn Sweeney not only claimed her second Symetra Tour victory at the VisitMesa.com Gateway Classic at Longbow Golf Club, she also received an extra bonus, an exemption into the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup.

The RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup marks the first domestic event on the 2013 LPGA Tour schedule and will be contested March 14-17 at Wildfire Golf Club at JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix, Ariz.

Sweeney, who narrowly missed qualifying in 2012 after losing in a five-way playoff, was scheduled to compete in this year’s qualifier which will be played at this week’s Longbow Golf Club. Instead, the Bradenton, Fla. native now has a spot reserved amongst the elite field of LPGA players.

“It’s really exciting but I didn’t allow myself to think about it,” said Sweeney. “I just kept thinking that Longbow is where the Monday qualifier is going to be so if I can score well on this golf course, I can get into the tournament. Little did I know that I would play well and get in and not have to qualify. It means a lot.

 

Volvik Race For the Card Kicks-Off at the VisitMesa.com Gateway Classic at Longbow golf Club
The highly anticipated Volvik Race for the Card began at the conclusion of the VisitMesa.com Gateway Classic at Longbow Golf Club. Each year since 1999 players have been playing their way onto the LPGA Tour through the Symetra Tour’s Volvik Race for the Card by finishing atop the season-ending money list.

The Volvik Race For the Card spotlights movement on the Tour’s 2013 season money list as players jockey for position among the top-10 money winners. This year marks the second year 10 players will receive fully-exempt status on next year’s LPGA Tour.

Jaclyn Sweeney proved to be the player to strike first this year after her victory at the season-opening VisitMesa.com Gateway Classic at Longbow Golf Club. Sweeney ultimately made the decision with her coach to change her equipment during the offseason which played a big role in this week’s victory.

“It’s very nice,” said Sweeney of her win. “My goal is to win three times this year. I won once last year so one down, two go. I really want to get to the next level and I really feel like my game, it’s not that it’s improved, but I changed all my equipment because I sat down with my coach and said I need to change.”

At the conclusion of the VisitMesa.com Gateway Classic at Longbow Golf Club, players moving into the top 10 spots on the money list are as follows: 1. Jaclyn Sweeney of Bradenton, Fla., $15,000; 2. Alena Sharp of Hamilton, Ontario, $9,367; T3. Stephanie Kono of Honolulu, Hawaii, $6,056; T3. Cydney Clanton of Concord, N.C., $6,056; T5 Jaye Marie Green of Boca Raton, Fla., $3,338; T5 Amelia Lewis of Jacksonville, Fla. $3,338; T5 Jenny Suh of Fairfax, Va. $3,338; T5 Tiffany Joh of San Diego Calif., $3,338; T9 Christine Song of Fullerton, Calif. $2,160; T9 Madeleine Sheils of Boise, Idaho, $2,160; Samantha Richdale of Kelowna, British Columbia, $2,160

 

Jaclyn Sweeney Wins Tifosi Optics Sunglasses for Final Round Low Score
For her final-round low score of 5-under 67, Jaclyn Sweeney of Bradenton, Fla. was awarded a pair of Tifosi Optics Sunglasses, an enthusiastic eyewear company, providing technically advanced eyewear to enthusiasts of all sports and outdoor activities. The "Exclusive Sunglasses of the Symetra Tour," Tifosi Optics will provide sunglasses for the season-long promotion Sunday Low Round award. Sweeney’s round moved her from tied for seventh to first.

Topics: News and Notes, Jaclyn Sweeney, Visit Mesa Gateway Classic