VOLVIK RACE FOR THE CARD UPDATE
After stepping into the winner’s circle for the first time in her professional career at the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship, Marta Sanz Barrio (Madrid, Spain) launched 43 spots in the Volvik Race for the Card to No. 29 to earn our “Move of the Week.”
“A jump like that feels awesome,” said Sanz Barrio, who has accumulated $23,364 across 12 starts this year. “It sets you up to be able to achieve anything in the final stretch of the season.”
Her previous season-best finish was tied for 11th at the IOA Championship presented by Morongo Casino Resort & Spa, as well as in the Danielle Downey Credit Union Classic.
The top-10 in the Volvik Race for the Card after the Symetra Tour Championship earn full LPGA Tour membership for 2019. Meanwhile, those from Nos. 11-30 qualify for Q-Series. With six events remaining on the schedule, the battle is just beginning to heat up.
“A victory is always a pump of confidence in yourself and your game,” Sanz Barrio added. “The main goal has always been top-10 and continues to be, but obviously being exempt into Q-Series is always in the back of your mind. We do this to be able to compete with the best in the world on the LPGA, so the goal is to be there next year.
Last week, the top-10 in the Volvik Race for the Card saw no changes and not much is different this time around. The current group only underwent one minor shift, as Isi Gabsa (Munich, Germany) leapfrogged Jenny Haglund (Karlstad, Sweden) to slot into the No. 3 position with $50,311. Her tied for eighth finish in Battle Creek, Mich., was the fifth top-10 result for Gabsa in 2018 and makes her the third player this year to eclipse the $50,000 season earnings mark.
Dottie Ardina (Laguna, Philippines) still holds a commanding advantage at No. 1 with $69,453 and Stephanie Meadow (Jordanstown, Northern Ireland) checks in at No. 2. The former four-time First Team All-American for the University of Alabama is one of three players in the top-10 that has competed in all 15 events, earning $54,816 along the way. Rounding out the upper half is Elizabeth Szokol (Winnetka, Illinois) at $47,292, only $2,459 behind Haglund.
Continuing down the rankings, Eun Jeong Seong (Yongin, Republic of Korea), Ruixin Liu (Dalian, China), Stephanie Kono (Honolulu, Hawaii), Karen Chung (Livingston, N.J.) and Min Seo Kwak (Seoul, Republic of Korea) form the rest of the top-10. A difference of just $5,724 stands between Seong and Kwak.
Finally, another solid move in the standings came from Maia Schechter (Chapel Hill, N.C.). Her second top-five finish this year of tied for fourth at the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship helped the former University of North Carolina standout climb five places to No. 14.
Having already been inside the top-10 earlier in the season and now once again on the cusp, Schechter is eager to begin the six-week run to conclude the year.
“To be in position to potentially get my LPGA card is the dream,” said Schechter. “This is what we all work for and I feel like my game is good enough to compete on the LPGA. The top-10 seems very attainable from my spot. I like going into the final stretch with an aggressive attitude that I’m chasing the leaders instead of getting careful and trying to hold on.”
Nine members of the top-10, as well as both Sanz Barrio and Schechter, will be in Sioux Falls, S.D, next week for the Sioux Falls GreatLIFE Challenge from Aug. 30 through Sept. 2 at Willow Run Golf Club