Symetra Tour Championship presented by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
LPGA International – Jones Course
Daytona Beach, Florida
September 19, 2014
Second-Round News & Notes
2nd Round Recap
How Things Would Stand
Henderson Hopes for First Win
Duncan Back in the Hunt After 66
Artis Hoping to Ride Hot Streak to LPGA Tour Card
Players That Had a Chance to Get Tour Card, But Missed Cut
Kelly Shon Records Second Career Hole-in-One
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., September 19, 2014 – Maude-Aimee Leblanc (Sherbrooke, Canada) fired a 6-under 66 in the second-round of the Symetra Tour Championship presented by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University at LPGA International – Jones Course on Friday and has a share of the lead with Rachel Rohanna (Waynesburg, Pa.), who carded a 5-under 67, to stand at 10-under 134. Selanee Henderson (Temecula, Calif.) is in solo third at 9-under 135, while Catherine O’Donnell (Ponte Vedra, Fla.), who carded a 6-under 66, is in fourth at 8-under 136.
Cheyenne Woods (Phoenix, Ariz.) is four shots back in fifth place at 6-under 138 after a 2-under 70 on Friday.
The cut was made at 3-over 147 and 80 players will play the weekend.
The Sherbrooke, Canada native Leblanc made eight birdies including back-to-back on three different occasions.
“I didn’t make many mistakes and putting was really good, which it hasn’t been for a long time,” said the 25-year-old. “It feels good to have the putter on my side and I feel that is all I need this week.”
Leblanc has struggled with her putting this year. She ranks 123rd in putting average with 31.61 putts-per-round, but needed just 27 putts on Friday.
“I did change my stance a little bit and obviously it seems to be helping so I’ll be sticking with it for a little bit.”
Leblanc currently ranks 21st on the Volvik Race for the Card money list and still has an opportunity to get inside the top-10 by virtue of a win. The winner’s payout of $22,500 would jump Leblanc to ninth on the money list.
“It’s definitely nice to see my name at the top of the leaderboard since it’s the last event of the season and I need to get into the top-10 so that definitely adds a little bit of pressure. I’ll just keep doing what I have been doing the last two days and see how it goes.”
Leblanc played a full schedule on the LPGA Tour in 2012 and 2013 after graduating from Purdue. Leblanc finished in a tie for seventh at LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament in 2011 to obtain LPGA status through priority list category 11.
“It would definitely be nice not to have to go through Stage III. I’ve been there two times and it is not fun. If I can avoid that, it would be amazing.”
Although Leblanc enjoyed her time on the Symetra Tour, she is eager for a return.
“It has always been my goal to play LPGA. It was nice to play on the Symetra Tour this year, I learned a lot from it. If I play on the Symetra Tour next year then so be it, but LPGA is definitely my goal.”
Rohanna, who is one of the longest hitters on Tour, took advantage of her distance and had ten wedges into greens on Friday. Rohanna ranks fifth on Tour in average driving distance (261).
“I played pretty well, I had a lot of putts fall,” said Rohanna, who ranks 61st on the Volvik Race for the Card money list. “Most of all, I really hit the ball close today.”
Rohanna played the majority of her round in a steady light rain. She was unaffected and actually felt like the soft course was an advantage.
“I like the softer course because you just fly it to wherever and it stops right there. The rain did not affect me much.”
Rohanna comes from a golfing family. Her cousin Robert Rohanna is close to getting his Web.com Tour card for next season. He currently plays on the PGA TOUR Latinoamerica.
HOW THINGS WOULD STAND: Below is a breakdown of how the final Volvik Race for the Card Money List would shake out if things ended after today’s round for players currently ranked between No. 7 and No. 25 on the money list as well as potential Card winners in Madison Pressel, Maude-Aimee LeBlanc and Rebecca Artis.
|Player||Current Money||2nd Rd. Finish||Projected Money*||Projected Ranking|
|#7 Jackie Stoelting||$48,580||T20 (-3)||$1,889||7 ($50,469)|
|#8 Kendall Dye||$46,032||T20 (-3)||$1,889||8 ($47,921)|
|#9 Mallory Blackwelder||$39,487||T20 (-3)||$1,889||10 ($41,376)|
|#10 Veronica Felibert||$39,479||T56 (+2)||$573||12 ($40,052)|
|#11 Sara-Maude Juneau||$36,538||T12 (-4)||$2,805||13 ($39,383)|
|#12 Lee Lopez||$36,115||T69 (+3)||$444||14 ($36,559)|
|#13 Lindy Duncan||$36,063||T6 (-5)||$5,289||11 ($41,325)|
|#14 Brittany Altomare||$33,864||T30 (-2)||$1,331||15 ($35,195)|
|#15 Demi Runas||$33,223||T20 (-3)||$1,889||16 ($35,112)|
|#20 Madison Pressel||$27,909||T6 (-5)||$5,289||17 ($33,198)|
|#21 Maude-Aimee LeBlanc||$25,229||T1 (-10)||$22,500||9 ($47,729)|
|#25 Rebecca Artis||$23,388||T12 (-4)||$2,805||22 ($26,193)|
*projected money does not account for ties (ie. T1 standing is projected out as solo first place money)
HENDERSON HOPES FOR FIRST WIN: Selanee Henderson remembers the event during her rookie season when she had a five shot lead going into the final day and was unable to seal the deal. It was the 2009 Mercedes-Benz of Kansas City and Henderson is still seeking her first win. The second place finish in Leawood, Kan. still stings a little.
“This is my sixth year out here and I remember the only other time I was close to winning was my rookie year,” said the Temecula, Calif. Native. “I would like to redeem that because I had a 5-shot lead going into the final day and shot 6-over. It would be awesome to win.”
She will have a chance this weekend after shooting a 4-under 68 to get to 9-under 135 for the tournament.
“I’m hitting my irons really, really well and finally things that I am working on are becoming comfortable,” said the 28-year-old Henderson. “Believe it or not, I think I hit six fairways today and yesterday I didn’t hit many either but I was able to hit the green from wherever including four fairway bunkers.”
Henderson closed with back-to-back birdies on the 17th and 18th holes.
“I just need to stay relaxed, I have no doubt that I can win. I missed so many birdie putts within 15-feet.”
Henderson currently ranks 56th on the Volvik Race for the Card money list and must play well this week to get exempt to Stage III of Qualifying Tournament because she is not playing Stage II due to the Big Break Invitational.
“I definitely need to win because I’m not going to second stage because of Big Break Invitational so in order for me to have a chance to play on the LPGA Tour next year, I think I need to get at least second. It’s not pressure because I’m OK with not going to Qualifying Tournament for a year and I’ve accepted that I am not going.”
Although she hasn’t signed up for Stage III of Qualifying Tournament, her plans could change.
“I want the opportunity to play on the LPGA next year and it’s unfortunate that I’ve made it through Stage II five out of six times, but I don’t get to try it this year.”
DUNCAN BACK IN THE HUNT AFTER 66: Lindy Duncan was sitting out of contention at 2-over for the tournament heading into her final hole of the first-round. 19 holes later, after a birdie on that hole, Duncan sits in a tie for sixth at 5-under following a second-round 66
“It was big,” Duncan said of her finishing strong on day one. “Yesterday was a really hard day. I wasn’t hitting it the way that I wanted to. I was missing a lot of fairways and a lot of greens but to make four birdies was really big and it kept me in it. Today, I knew I could get back into the tournament if I played a good round and I was able to do that.”
Duncan currently sits at 13th on the Volvik Race for the Card money list and a solid finish could be enough to secure her 2015 LPGA Tour Card.
“It would be amazing,” Duncan admitted. “To do it on Symetra would be an honor because it’s a year long thing and there are so many great players out here.”
The Plantation, Florida, native will be able to lean on her mother for help this week as she is working the bag.
“I’m really comfortable with her,” Duncan said. “She’s a really good caddie. She’s been on the bag for me at three major championships so she has a lot of experience and she obviously knows me very well.”
ARTIS HOPING TO RIDE HOT STREAK TO LPGA TOUR CARD: Rebecca Artis has had a busy three-week stretch of golf competing in the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open in Scotland, the Helsingborg Open in Sweden and the Garden City Charity Classic in Kansas. She has also had a successful three-week stretch with finishes of T3, 2 and T2 respectively.
“I’m coming into this week knowing that I’m playing some pretty good golf,” Artis said. “I’m just trying to keep a good mindset of fairways and greens. I’m going to go out and play my own game and hopefully the scores take care of themselves.”
After day one of the Symetra Tour Championship it looked like that hot streak may be coming to an end for Artis who opened with a 74. Fortunately, the Aussie was able to bounce back with a bogey-free round of 66 to get right back in the mix, sitting in a tie for 11th.
“It’s very difficult. This is my fourth week in a row. Four is probably my limit,” Artis admitted.
While four tournaments in a row may be her limit, Artis is hoping the fourth week is the charm and that she can win to earn her 2015 LPGA Tour Card.
“I’m trying not to put too much pressure on myself but, obviously, the LPGA is the goal.”
PLAYERS THAT HAD A CHANCE TO GET TOUR CARD, BUT MISSED CUT: There were several notable players that missed the cut and no longer have a chance to get inside the top-10. There were 33 players competing for four LPGA Tour cards at the start of the event and now 27 are still in the hunt.
No. 19 Laura Gonzalez-Escallon – 75-73 (+4)
No. 31 Calle Nielson – 77-73 (+6)
No. 32 Megan McChrystal - DNP
No. 33 Kim Kaufman - DNP
No. 38 Madeleine Sheils – 77-73 (+6)
No. 39 Ashley Tait – 72-76 (+4)
Volvik Race for the Card No. 1 Marissa Steen missed the cut (+4), but has already assured herself an LPGA Tour card on Sunday.
With a 5-iron in hand from 168-yards away, Shon made contact and knew it was a good shot so she looked away.
“I knew it was a good shot and for some reason I turned and then boom,” said Shon. “ Ashlan’s (Ramsey) dad said that it went in.”
Her only other hole-in-one came at high school match during her senior season.
Shon started the day with three pars and then made a birdie on the 13th hole. After her ace on the 14th hole, she chipped in for birdie on the 15th hole.
“After my hole-in-one, I chipped in on the next hole for birdie and told my playing partners that I think I ran out of luck.”
Not quite. She made three more birdies in-a-row from 16 through 18.
Shon made two bogeys on her back nine and then made a nice birdie putt to close her round on the ninth hole.
Shon recovered from a first-round 3-over 75 and climbed from T92 to T19.