Decatur-Forsyth Classic presented by Tate & Lyle and Decatur Park District
Hickory Point Golf Course
June 15, 2014
Final Round News & Notes
DECATUR, ILLINOIS, June 15, 2014 – With wind gusts topping at 37 miles-per-hour and sustained wind of 22 to 25 mph all day, Madison Pressel used a late surge to top Ashley Tait on the first playoff hole to win the 30th anniversary Decatur-Forsyth Classic presented by Tate & Lyle and Decatur Park District on Sunday. Pressel and Tait were tied at 6-under-par at the end of 18 holes.
“There are really no words to explain this, I just plugged along today and I’ve had definitely one of the best weekends I’ve had playing on Tour,” said the 22-year-old, who shot an even-par 72 to force the playoff. “This is probably the best I’ve played since my junior year of college so to be able to play like this and come away with a win is going to be huge for me for the rest of the season.”
Tait appeared to have the championship wrapped up heading into the 17th hole, three shots up on Pressel at 8-under. However, Tait found trouble and made a double bogey while Pressel capitalized by making birdie to even the score heading to the 18th.
On the 18th, both players made tap-in pars to force a playoff.
On the first playoff hole, Pressel was first to putt and sunk a 20-footer from above the green. Tait missed her birdie putt to the right of the hole and Pressel was doused with water on the green in celebration of her first professional win.
“I fortunately have seen this situation unfold before, I’ve watched Morgan (her older sister) play many match play events and I’ve seen how quickly things can turn around and I just continued to play my game. I didn’t worry about what anyone I was playing with was doing and if I made some birdies, I made some birdies.”
Both players hit excellent approach shots on the first playoff hole.
“I hit a great 3-wood off the tee and a great approach shot and I was feeling a little adrenaline. I was a little shaky with the hands but a yoga breath calmed me down and it just broke a little to the right. I saw it, I stroked it and it went in and that was the best feeling.”
Her first professional victory moves her from 110th on the Volvik Race for the Card money list to 17th. The winner’s check of $15,000 increased her earnings to $17,126 for the season.
“This win is unbelievable, my family has been supporting me through everything and to know that I’m not letting them down and I’m not letting myself down is great. To show that I do belong out here really means a lot.”
Pressel shared a moment with her big sister Morgan, a two-time winner on the LPGA Tour, on the phone after her win.
“It’s the first win for the Pressel girls in quite awhile and for it to be my first professional win is great. I know she remembers the Kraft (Morgan won the Kraft Nabisco Championship in 2007) her first professional win and I remember sitting on my friends sofa and watching her win that and how freaked out I was. She is at Pinehurst sitting with her caddie and a bunch of friends and she is absolutely freaking out. She said I made her so nervous.”
Pressel is the first Symetra Tour rookie to win this season.
Tait jumped from 90th to 32nd on the Volvik Race for the Card money list with her first career top-10 finish.
Hye-Min Kim and Ashley Sholer finished in a tie for third place.
Cheyenne Woods finished in a six-way tie for fifth at 3-under for the tournament. It was her best finish of the season.
TIFOSI OPTICS LOW ROUND: Sadena Parks had the best round of her season, a 5-under 67 to jump up the leaderboard on the final day.
Parks made two birdies on the front and then an eagle on the par-5 11th hole.
Down the stretch, she made back-to-back birdies on the 15th and 16th holes and finished in a tie for 11th.
“It was just target golf today, I kept it simple and hit the ball low because it was super windy,” said the Big Break Florida contestant Parks. “I was hitting some bump and roll shots to the green and drained a few long putts so today overall was just a hot day for me.”
Parks handled the windy conditions as best she could.
“You have to go shot-by-shot. Everyday is a blessed day to be out on the course, but you have to stay in the present on windy days like this.”
Parks’ golf coach has been with her all week here in Decatur and she felt has presence was a big help.
“I’m grateful that he is here, he is a huge contributor to the team. Ever since he has been travelling with me I have been making cuts and playing better. If it wasn’t for him, I probably wouldn’t have shot the 67 that I did.”
HYE-MIN KIM HAS STRONG 4-UNDER ROUND: Seoul, South Korea native Hye-Min Kim, who has only been in the United States for three years, shot a 4-under 68 in the final-round to finish in the top-10 for the first time this year.
Kim caught fire down the stretch with three consecutive birdies from the 15th through 17th holes.
“I made a bunch of long putts for par and birdie today,” said the 26-year-old. “I didn’t hit my driver well, but I did a good job with my wedges even though it was windy.”
Kim, who has played on the KLPGA and the equivalent of the Symetra Tour in Korea, is in her second full year on the Tour.
“I’m really happy today, it’s my first top-10 and first 68. My goal is to of course win a Symetra Tour event, but I think I took a big step forward today.”
Bret Lasky, Coordinator, Symetra Tour Media, firstname.lastname@example.org, 386-679-1292