PRATTVILLE, Alabama, September 24, 2017 - Lindsey Weaver (Bellefontaine, Ohio) had nine top 10 finishes coming into the Guardian Championship. She had knocked on the door so many times on the Symetra Tour in 2017, but finally busted through on Sunday with a 4-under, 68 to win her first event by one-stroke. Weaver finished with a 3-day total of 12-under, 204 to best Yu Liu (Beijing, China), who finished second at 11-under. Tiffany Chan (Hong Kong) and Hannah Green (Perth, Australia) tied for third at 10-under.
Weaver pockets the $15,000 first-place check and moves from ninth on the Volvik Race for the Card money list up to eighth. Weaver has now earned $65,477 in 20 starts on the Symetra Tour and has ten top 10 finishes.
“It’s awesome, it was good to have a solid final-round because sometimes when I have been in contention I have petered back a bit,” said Weaver. “It feels really good to get the job done and get a win out of it.”
Weaver entered the final-round four shots off the lead and made two birdies and two bogeys on her outward nine. She really turned it on over the final seven holes.
Weaver made a 20-foot birdie on 12, a 15 foot birdie on 15 and then chipped in for birdie on hole 16 to move into the lead.
“Hole 12 was a tough pin placement and I hit a 6-iron into the green and that putt was a bonus,” said Weaver, who played her final three years of college golf at Arizona. “My putt on 15 was moving a little quick so I was happy it hit the hole and dropped and on 16 I was off the green and was over my chip and I knew I could make it. It was uphill and I gave it a pretty aggressive approach and it went in. It was awesome.”
Weaver took the lead briefly with the chip-in. While she tee’d on 17, Liu made a 10-foot birdie putt on 16 to even the score at 12-under. Both Weaver and Liu made par on the par-5 17th.
On 18, Weaver hit her approach to 30-feet and pin high. She left the birdie putt about 8-feet short and nailed the par putt to stay at 12-under. Liu then came up short and on the wrong tier of the 18th green and had a 35-foot putt for the win. Unfortunately, she three-putted to finish second.
“I did the same thing with my putt, I left it 8-feet short and made it,” said Weaver, who watched Liu finish on FaceTime with friend Emma Talley and in person with Sarah Schmelzel. “I was terrified over that putt and I thought it was for second place, but the cards fell at the right time for me.”
The win gives Weaver a little cushion heading into the final two Symetra Tour events of the season. She was $28 dollars in front of 10th on the money list heading into the Guardian Championship and now is $11,316 in front of 10th.
“This is very important for me,” said Weaver. “The money list is definitely in the back of my mind, but my dad keeps telling me that there is no bad outcome. If I’m on the Symetra Tour next year that’s great, if I’m on the LPGA, that’s great too.”
Weaver is a tireless worker and is one of the most focused and determined golfers on Tour.
“Obviously I have worked so hard to get here,” said Weaver. “I knew I could play well and possibly get my LPGA Tour card and I’ve been knocking on the door several times. I can’t really think about money, but it’s really hard.”
Weaver will head towards Jacksonville and will spend some time with her boyfriend, Tom Lovelady, who recently secured his PGA TOUR card for the 2018 season through the Web.com Tour.
“He has helped me so much mentally and helped me stay positive,” said Weaver, who started dated Lovelady a couple months ago. “When he got his PGA TOUR card, I was like I definitely need to get my card now. It is almost like a competition. He has supported me a lot and we’re both happy for each others success.”
Weaver’s caddy this week was Cody Argade, who plays out of Capitol Hill and attends Stanhope Elmore High School in the River Region.Liu’s second place finish moved her from 8th to seventh on the money list. Benyapa Niphatsophon is the new No. 1 on the money list after her tie for 8th. She has now earned $109,028 without a win. Everyone else in the top ten has at least one victory.