EL DORADO, ARKANSAS, September 28, 2016 - The Symetra Tour, Road to the LPGA, begins the final stretch of the 2016 season with the second annual Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout at Mystic Creek Golf Club from Friday, September 30 through Sunday, October 2. There are just three events remaining in the 2016 season, which concludes October 13-16 in Daytona Beach, Florida with the Symetra Tour Championship. The top 10 on the final Volvik Race for the Card money list with earn LPGA Tour membership for the 2017 season.
First-round play begins at 7:30 a.m. on Friday. There will be a cut to the low 60 and ties following second-round play on Saturday. The final-round will begin at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday and a split tee start will be used. The estimated finishing time is 2:30 p.m. central and the trophy ceremony will take place shortly following the final putt on the 18th green.
OLYMPIAN ALEJANDRA LLANEZA ON EXPERIENCE: Alejandra Llaneza is one of two Olympians in the field this week. She is playing this week in El Dorado after playing the full year on the LPGA Tour. Llaneza, who finished in the top 10 on the Volvik Race for the Card money list last year, placed T9 at the inaugural Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout.
Llaneza described the Olympics experience as “life-changing” for her career.
“It was really motivating to talk to the other athletes and see all the sacrifices they made to get to where they are,” said Llaneza. “I call it a secret language. Even if you couldn’t speak to them because they are from a different country, you all knew what it took to get there. Having lived it, it is a big motivation. Being at a big stage like that helps you to prepare for other events.”
Llaneza kept the comforter that she slept on at the Olympic village and also brought home some souvenirs. She got to watch Usain Bolt win the gold medal in the 100 meters and also went to a diving meet and taekwondo.
“Being in an atmosphere where you are surrounded by the best in the world is inspiring and humbling at the same time,” said Llaneza. “The moment I’ll remember forever is hearing my name on the first tee and realizing that I am in the Olympics representing my country.”
RUNNER-UP LAST YEAR TALKS: Ally McDonald (Fulton, Mississippi), who finished second at the Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout last year, dropped by before her pro-am on Wednesday for a Q&A about her experience last year, returning after a T30 in France and hoping to claim her first victory.
Question: What has the season been like?
Ally: It has flown by quicker than I thought. There are three events left on the schedule and I’m excited to be in Arkansas this week on a beautiful golf course. I’m going to skip Longwood and play the Symetra Tour Championship so I am excited to finish the season strong.
Question: What do you remember about the second place finish last year?
Ally: The community is great out here. I had a great family that I am blessed to stay with again this year. It is just awesome to go home to their house that they have opened up to me. They are super encouraging and their son Landon is one of three, but the only one at the house. He is just awesome and it is really just a great atmosphere for me. I have great memories here.
Question: Are there any similarities between Evian course and Mystic Creek?
Ally: There actually are some similarities. They both require a lot of precision on the greens. There are a few crazy greens out here and you have to play smart. You have to be aggressive when you can, but I think you also need to be able to hit it 20-feet left and settle for par on a lot of these holes. I’m excited to be here and playing well in France gives me a little more confidence.
Question: Do you want to win to complete the season?
Ally: Winning is still hanging over my head. I feel like if I put together three really good rounds, I think I’ll be around the top. You never know, golf is a crazy game. You can play your best, but someone might just beat you. I’m going to enjoy every moment and try to envision the trophy on Sunday, but if not I know I will give it my best.