The Island Resort Championship is the unofficial halfway point of the year - eleven events down and twelve to go. The top 10 is starting to take shape, but history tells us that every player still has a chance to play their way in.
There are so many examples of players that surged in the second half to give all hope. Let’s start with Sadena Parks in 2014. She started with a tie for third in the first event, but then finished T52 in the second event and missed the cut in the third and fourth events. Through the end of May, she only pocketed $6,779. The Island Resort Championship was actually the turning point of her season. She finished 2nd and certainly could have won if not for a tee shot on 18 that found the water. Then, the very next event, she won her first professional tournament at the Credit Union Challenge. Two weeks later, she won again in a playoff over fellow Big Break competitor Jackie Stoelting. In a span of four events between the end of June and the second week of August, she earned $48,771.
See, get hot at the right time and you’ll get your card.
How about Sydnee Michaels in 2011? Talk about surging towards the end of the year. In her final four events, she finished T2, T11, win, win! Of the $56,232 she made in 2011, $41,766 came from August on. Again, get hot at the right time and get your card.
Then, there is two-time Solheim Cup player Nicole Castrale in 2005. She was pretty consistent at the start of the year, but won back-to-back events in late May into early June. She followed up the wins with three consecutive top 10 finishes in June, July and August to basically secure her card.
Golf is a funny sport, we all know that. Did you know that Inbee Park missed the cut in the first Symetra Tour event she ever played in, the 2006 Louisiana FUTURES Classic? That was about the only thing she did wrong that year. From June 15 forward, she finished in the top 10 in eight of the final 10 events to finish third on the Volvik Race for the Card money list. She’s now the No. 1 ranked player in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings. Do you think she remembers the missed cut in 2006?
Mo Martin had enough of the Symetra Tour in the second half of the 2011 season. From the end of June through the end of the season, she finished in the top 10 in seven of the final nine events including a win on August 14 at the Eagle Classic and a third place finish at the Price Chopper Tour Championship. The golf world all knows her story now after winning the RICOH Women’s British Open in 2014.
Let’s close with maybe the greatest Symetra Tour graduate ever, Lorena Ochoa. Her three wins in 2002 came on June 16, June 30 and August 11. She used those three second half wins to lead the money list. Christina Kim, who finished second in ’02, captured her lone win on August 4.
The morale of the story is this. If you didn’t have the best first half, keep that head up…there are still 12 events left and almost $1.5 million in prize money up for grabs.