Industry Hills Golf Club at Pacific Palms Resort
City of Industry, California
March 3, 2014
Final Round News and Notes
CITY OF INDUSTRY, CALIFORNIA - Kim Kaufman played a flawless final-round on Monday and finished at 7-under-par to win the 2014 Volvik Championship, her second career Symetra Tour victory. She fired a tournament-low 6-under-par 66 to best the field by four strokes.
Kaufman, who started the day tied for fourth at 1-under, made three birdies on the front nine to make the turn at 4-under for the tournament. She proceeded to make three more birdies on the back nine to sprint past the competition.
“It’s been such a long week, but I texted my coach early in the week and said ‘at the end of the week they are going to hand out a check to someone’ so you got to go out there and play your best,” said Kaufman. “It feels great that I shot 6-under, I just felt so good about my game.”
Kaufman played a bogey-free final round.
“I took it one shot at a time today, I tried not to think ahead or think of the score,” said the 22-year-old Kaufman. “I didn’t make any mistakes, just went fairways to greens and got a few putts to fall.”
Kaufman’s first Symetra Tour win came at the Island Resort Championship last year.
“This year is so different from last year when I played just a partial season where this year I came to the tour with the goal of getting my card (LPGA Tour card).” said Kaufman. “It’s pretty hard to get your card without a win so to get a win right away gives me confidence and I’m headed in the right direction.”
The former Texas Tech golfer was fortunate to steer clear of the severe weather this week. Play was suspended on Friday and Saturday due to rain, severe winds and lightning in the area.
“I probably got kind of lucky, I played a full round on Saturday and a full round today,” said Kaufman. “I practiced yesterday and you just have to go with the flow, at the end of the day someone is going to win this event so you can’t give up on it.”
Kaufman will now head to the Orlando area, where she resides, to gear up for the Florida’s Natural Charity Classic at Lake Wales Golf Club, which begins on Friday, March 21.
With the win, Kaufman moves from 41st to first on the Volvik Race for the Card money list after two events.
“It feels great, there is nothing better than going home with a trophy.”
Kaufman is also the Tifosi Optics Low Round winner. She will receive a pair of sunglasses from Tifosi Optics, the official sunglasses of the Symetra Tour. Each week, the Symetra Tour will award a pair of Tifosi Optics sunglasses to the player with the low final round.
She fired a final round 3-under-par to jump from T12 to second place. Lee made four birdies and just one bogey on the day.
Lee, who played full-time on the LPGA Tour from 2011-2013, is now second on the Volvik Race for the Card money list, less than $2,000 behind Kaufman.
Demi Runas and Veronica Felibert finished tied for third at 2-under-par for the tournament. Runas made eight birdies in the final round to jump 25 spots from the first round to the final round. Meanwhile, Felibert, who led heading into Monday, shot a 1-over-par 73 to fall to third.
Felibert stumbled on the back nine, with three bogeys and a double bogey over the final six holes. She was 6-under for the tournament with nine holes remaining. .
Runas and Felibert are now tied for fourth on the Volvik Race for the Card money list. Marissa Steen, who finished tied for fifth this week, is third on the Volvik Race for the Card money list.
There was a seven-way tie for fifth place at 1-under for the event. Two teenagers, Mika Liu (15) and Cindy Feng (18) were in the group of seven at 1-under.
“I actually kind of got off to a rocky start, I bogeyed my first hole and then had a couple bogeys back-to-back and I got a little frustrated,” said the former UC-Davis golfer. “I told myself that you have nothing to lose now, it’s the last day and I might as well go out there and start firing at pins.”
She took straight aim. Runas made back-to-back birdies to end the front nine strong. On the back nine, she birdied four of the first five holes and finished with back-to-back birdies to end her round.
“I think I just started swinging more freely and finally I just told myself that it’s the final nine and I’m just going to go for it,” said Runas. “I started sticking pins and making long putts, it was just a lot of fun.”
Although the weather was unseasonable for this area, Runas enjoyed playing close to her hometown.
“We don’t have a lot of tournaments near home and in Arizona last week I had a rough week and missed the cut by one (stroke) and so I just wanted to get this tournament in and finish well.” said Runas. “I needed to get some mojo going for the rest of the season especially since we’re going to be gone a lot. It means a lot to be near home, it was nice to sleep in my own bed.”
Liu, a ninth-grader at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., made four birdies and had just one bogey.
“Today, I had a lot better mental approach, I tried to focus on the shot I was playing and wasn’t worrying about what happened before it or what was going to happen after it,” said the youngest player in the field, Liu. “I just kept that one-shot mentality and it helped me a lot.”
The Beverly Hills, Calif. native got the chance to play in the Volvik Championship through a sponsor exemption from Volvik.
“This opportunity was really great for me, it was a chance to play with a lot of professional players and learn from them,” said Liu. “I got to see their attitude towards the game, their focus and it also encouraged me to do the same and follow their lead.”
Liu, who shot a first-round 2-over-par 74, is pleased to see her name near the top of the leaderboard.
“I’m really proud of myself because I really grinded through this final round,” said Liu. “My first-round did not go as well as I expected it to be. I was aiming to finish first and I got in the top five, so it’s great.”