VOLVIK RACE FOR THE CARD UPDATE
After stepping into the winner’s circle for the fourth time in her Symetra Tour career and second time this season at the Guardian Championship, Kendall Dye (Edmond, Oklahoma) launched 16 spots in the Volvik Race for the Card to crack the top-10 at No. 7 and earn our “Move of the Week.”
Her first win in 2018 came at the Fuccillo Kia Classic of NY on Capital Hills at Albany. In total, Dye has four top-10 finishes this season on the Symetra Tour.
“Winning in Prattville was sweet and I honestly felt it in my bones leading up to the week that a win was coming soon,” said Dye, who has accumulated $56,062 across 11 starts this season. “Once I grabbed the lead in the first round, I never once thought anyone else would win it. I had fantastic competition that made me play out of my mind in order to get the ‘W.’ These girls are good and I’m blessed to have come out on top.”
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 two events remaining on the schedule, it’s the final time to make a move.
Prior to the 20th tournament on the official qualifying tour of the LPGA, the top-10 in the Volvik Race for the Card saw several changes. Dottie Ardina (Laguna, Philippines) still holds a commanding advantage at No. 1 with $83,874.
Checking in at No. 2 is Ruixin Liu (Dalian, China). Following a tied for second performance at the Guardian Championship, she improved four spots in the standings and has earned $68,589 in 19 events.
“I definitely feel more comfortable and confident moving up on the money list,” said Liu, who has back-to-back top-five finishes. “I feel more relaxed and joyful on the course, and also can tell that my short game is improving. For the next two events my goal is to play my game and hopefully I can get closer to the No. 1 position.”
From there, Linnea Ström (Hovas, Sweden) remains at No. 3 after a tied for ninth finish last week, while Stephanie Meadow (Jordanstown, Northern Ireland) falls two places to No. 4. Then it’s Elizabeth Szokol (Winnetka, Illinois) and Charlotte Thomas (Guildford, England), both down one.
Rounding out the top-10 is Isi Gabsa (Munich, Germany), Jenny Haglund (Karlstad, Sweden) and Stephanie Kono (Honolulu, Hawaii), each dropping one spot.
In addition to Dye’s big climb, Sarah Schmelzel (Langhorne, Pennsylvania) shot up the rankings with her solo fourth finish on the Senator Course at Capitol Hill on the Robert Trent Jones (RTJ) Golf Trail. The University of South Carolina alumna lands at No. 19 this week, 10 spots better than where she was prior.
“It feels great knowing I have put myself in the position to make a late charge toward earning my LPGA Tour card for next year,” Schmelzel said. “To have a chance at this point in the season is what you work so hard for. I’m going to continue to have fun and stick to my gameplan everyday. The rest will take care of itself.”
Every member of the top-10 is in Longwood, Fla. this week for the fifth annual IOA Golf Classic, the penultimate event on the Symetra Tour schedule
“Once I learned that no other player had two victories on the Symetra Tour this year, I wanted to be that person,” said Dye. “I’m thrilled to have accomplished that goal, but more work needs to be done. If anyone knows me, they know I’m competitive and crazy into sports. I hate a team who wins and doesn't cover. I have to cover. No team ever plays to the best of their ability when they play prevent defense. My plan for the next two weeks is to give myself as many opportunities as possible. Now is the time to ball out.”