VOLVIK RACE FOR THE CARD UPDATE
After her second runner-up finish this season in Longwood, Fla. at the IOA Golf Classic, Dana Finkelstein (Chandler, Arizona) launched six spots in the Volvik Race for the Card to make her 2018 top-10 debut at No. 8 and earn our “Move of the Week.”
Her first runner-up result came at the Garden City Charity Classic in Garden City, Kan. at Buffalo Dunes Golf Course. In total, Finkelstein has six top-10 finishes on the Symetra Tour this year, and 13 for her career.
“It’s a good place to be and going to try my best to have a good result in Daytona Beach then I think that will lock things up,” said Finkelstein, who has accumulated $57,751 through 17 starts in large part to 11 top-20 finishes. “I’m excited for the position I am in. Especially with how big the purse is this week, there is going to be a lot of movement. Another week like I did last week and things will play out alright.”
The top-10 in the Volvik Race for the Card after the Symetra Tour Championship earn full LPGA Tour membership for 2019. Meanwhile, those from Nos. 11-30 qualify for Q-Series. With only one event remaining on the schedule, it’s the last time to make a move.
Prior to the 21st tournament on the official qualifying tour of the LPGA, the top-10 in the Volvik Race for the Card saw several changes in addition to Finkelstein. There was no differences among the top-six individuals, however. Dottie Ardina (Laguna, Philippines) still holds the advantage at No. 1 with $94,954, but Ruixin Liu (Dalian, China) closed the gap after picking up her second win of the season at Alaqua Country Club and now only trails by $3,865.
Checking in at No. 3 and No. 4 is Linnea Ström (Hovas, Sweden) and Stephanie Meadow (Jordanstown, Northern Ireland), respectively. So far, the current top-four in the Volvik Race for the Card are the only players to have secured full LPGA Tour membership for next season.
From there, Elizabeth Szokol (Winnetka, Illinois) remains at No. 5 and Charlotte Thomas (Guildford, England) follows with $59,242 earned across 20 starts. Back in the top-10 thanks to a tied for fifth showing at the IOA Golf Classic is Pavarisa Yoktuan (Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand). She slots in at No. 7, just $731 ahead of Finkelstein.
“I’m excited, but also a little bit nervous because the gap is very small,” Yoktuan said. “This year is a lot of movement every single week, so everybody has a chance. If you just play good anyone can jump into the top-10. Especially now playing six straight weeks, everybody is tired, but we have to go out and do our best.”
Rounding out the top-10 is Min Seo Kwak (Seoul, Republic of Korea) and Kendall Dye (Edmond, Oklahoma). A tied for eighth finish last week proved to be the boost Kwak needed to land inside the top-10 once again.
“I guess I’m more stressed, but I try not to think about that and just play my game,” said Kwak, who has recorded 10 top-20s in her 10th season as a professional. “That’s all I have right now. Inside the top-10 is much safer mentally, but this is a bigger purse so I get a lot of stress.”
Every member of the top-10 is in Daytona Beach, Fla. this week for the 11th annual Symetra Tour Championship, the final event on the Symetra Tour schedule. Meanwhile, a difference of $2,169 is all that stands between Dye and Stephanie Kono (Honolulu, Hawaii) at No. 13, who sits at $55,094.
“We have been talking about that all year, how tight everything is and that it will be an exciting finish,” Finkelstein said. “The Symetra Tour has got a lot stronger over the last few years. I have never played well at LPGA International, but I also didn’t ever play well in Longwood before, so things are hopefully changing for me in Florida.”