YOKTUAN MAINTAINS LEAD IN TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Picking up right where she left off on day one, Pavarisa Yoktuan (Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand) fired a 5-under par 67 on the Jones Course at LPGA International in the second round of the Symetra Tour Championship to maintain the outright lead.
Currently No. 7 in the Volvik Race for the Card, she takes a two-stroke advantage into the weekend at 15-under par overall.
“It was another good day for me and on the front nine I played the same as yesterday,” said Yoktuan, who went out in 4-under par 32 fashion. “On the back nine, I missed a lot of birdie chances, but still birdied the last hole. In total it was still really good.”
Her performance sets the Symetra Tour Championship 36-hole tournament scoring record and Yoktuan has now gone without a bogey or worse for 36 consecutive holes.
“I’ll keep my focus and do the same thing, maybe be more aggressive,” Yoktuan said. “I didn’t roll it bad, just barely missed it. I want to keep doing my best and of course, I’m on top of the leaderboard, but hopefully I can keep it going and it will do me good.”
Meanwhile, most recent Symetra Tour champion Ruixin Liu (Dalian, China) has kept Yoktuan within striking distance. She closed out her second round 5-under par 67 showing with a chip-in eagle on No. 18 and is only two back of the lead.
In a position to overtake the No. 1 position in the Volvik Race for the Card, as well as get her third win of the season, Liu is in the go zone.
“It’s the same as last week, when I don’t have that pressure I completely enjoy my time on the course,” said Liu. “She’s playing really good through two rounds, but I don’t want to think about how close I am. In this position, of course you want to go for the win, but if I don’t I will still be happy about things.”
The last piece to the final pairing off No. 1 tee at 9:50 a.m. ET tomorrow is Kendall Dye (Edmond, Oklahoma). She carded the round of the day this afternoon with a bogey-free, 7-under par 65.
“I played very freely today, even yesterday, and the thing about it is it’s me and the golf course,” said Dye, currently No. 10 in the Volvik Race for the Card. “It’s not head-to-head, this is a different sport. A lot of people when it’s the final tournament, especially the money list, then it’s head-to-head. Maybe it is for some and I’ve had to tell myself all week we can all have the nerves, but it is just golf.”
Dye and Liu are the only players to have multiple victories this season and like Liu, Dye is looking for more.
“Thankfully I gave myself a lot of opportunities, hitting 16 greens and seems like when I get on a roll I continue it,” said Dye, who won the Fuccillo Kia Classic of NY and Guardian Championship. “I want to win this thing, I really do. That’s the goal and I’m excited to play with the two because I want to see what they’re doing.”
A total of 62 players made the cut of even par in the 11th annual Symetra Tour Championship. Third round action begins at 8 a.m. ET in groups of three off No. 1 and No. 10 tees.
SZOKOL MAKES CUT, SECURES LPGA TOUR CARD FOR 2019
By making the cut at the Symetra Tour Championship, Elizabeth Szokol (Winnetka, Illinois) becomes the fifth player to secure a LPGA Tour card for 2019 as she will finish in the Volvik Race for the Card top-10.
“It’s so exciting, especially tough last year not earning my card,” said Szokol. “I learned a lot last year and this year, understanding my body with how much practice I need, the Pro-Am events and travel. I feel really good going into next year on the LPGA.”
The University of Virginia alumna enters the weekend in Daytona Beach tied for sixth at 6-under par overall following a second round 4-under par. Szokol found her way to five birdies and only one bogey.
On the season, she has nine top-20 finishes, with a win at the IOA Invitational highlighting her sophomore campaign on the Symetra Tour. However, perhaps the greatest accomplishment for Szokol is coming back from knee surgery in January and not missing a beat.
“To play solid the whole year and have been in the top-10 since my win, to be here is amazing,” Szokol said. “It was a lot of motivation going through the injury and couldn’t swing for about eight weeks. Just to be back after that was really great.”
Szokol joins Dottie Ardina (Laguna, Philippines), Ruixin Liu, Linnea Ström (Hovas, Sweden) and Stephanie Meadow (Jordanstown, Northern Ireland) in having earned their LPGA card for next year.
PROJECTED VOLVIK RACE FOR THE CARD TOP-10
The battle in the Race for the Card top-10 is as heated as ever with only half the LPGA Tour cards for 2019 secured. Below is a projection of the top-10 based on the current Symetra Tour Championship leaderboard, along with their projected season money total.
- Ruixin Liu - $112,920
- Dottie Ardina - $97,286
- Pavarisa Yoktuan - $92,232
- Kendall Dye - $73,152
- Linnea Ström - $70,685
- Elizabeth Szokol - $70,198
- Stephanie Meadow - $69,512
- Isi Gabsa (Munich, Germany) - $62,480
- Dana Finkelstein (Chandler, Arizona) - $60,868
- Charlotte Thomas (Guildford, England) - $60,065
- Min Seo Kwak (Seoul, Republic of Korea) - $58,394
- Jenny Haglund (Karlstad, Sweden) - $58,017
- Stephanie Kono (Honolulu, Hawaii) - $56,752
PAVARISA YOKTUAN SECOND ROUND INTERVIEW