LIU, YOKTUAN SHARE LEAD ENTERING FINAL ROUND
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — When round three of the Symetra Tour Championship at LPGA International started Ruixin Liu (Dalian, China) was two shots back of Pavarisa Yoktuan (Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand), but at the end of moving day they sit tied atop the leaderboard at 18-under par overall.
Liu fired a 5-under par 67 today to draw even with Yoktuan.
“I’m really tired and the front nine wasn’t ideal,” Liu said after recording seven birdies and two bogeys, both of which came in her 1-under par 35 going out. “The swing was bad and I had the wrong club selection, just didn’t think as clear and need to keep calm. Me and Pavarisa are friends, had a great time today and I’ll try to keep it the same way tomorrow.”
Meanwhile, the 18- and 36-hole leader carded a 3-under par 69 this afternoon. The only blemish on her scorecard was a double bogey on No. 2, otherwise Yoktuan dropped in five birdies.
“I just need to focus on my game and not focus on Ruixin at all,” said Yoktuan. “I feel like at some points I lost my concentration a little bit, would focus on her and that is why I kind of was off a little today. It’s okay because I came back and will try my best tomorrow.”
The performance by each player so far ties them for the Symetra Tour 54-hole scoring record. That mark was set by Vicky Hurst (Melbourne, Florida) at the 2008 Jalapeño Duramed FUTURES Golf Classic and matched by Christine Song (Fullerton, California) at the 2010 Teva Championship.
“It is really good, me and Ruixin played really good today,” Yoktuan said. “She played a little bit better, but I think that is my record for three rounds, too. I’ll take it. If I win this tournament, it will be another great job for me. All three rounds I just played so good and if I win it’ll be nice.”
As for the already two-time Symetra Tour champion in 2018, maintaining her position in the Symetra Tour Championship would earn the second-year professional Player of the Year honors. While she is chasing that, Liu is also going to shoot for the win.
“It feels awesome because I did not know about that record and to tie it is really good,” said Liu. “I just want to try and play my best tomorrow, not think about it. It would mean a lot for me to finish at No. 1 on the money list, a big achievement because it shows I did what I was supposed to and the past two years is worth it.”
Continuing down the leaderboard, Kendall Dye (Edmond, Oklahoma) and Cheyenne Knight (Aledo, Texas) are tied for third at 10-under par overall, eight shots back of the leaders.
However, don’t count either out. In 2017 at the Four Winds Invitational, Dye trailed by six strokes entering the final round, but fired an 8-under par 64 on the last day. Coupled with a 1-over par 73 from 36-hole leader Elizabeth Szokol (Winnetka, Illinois) and it was Dye who took home the hardware.
“Oh sure, I believe in miracles because last year in South Bend I had a nine-shot swing on Sunday, so I am within range,” Dye said with a smile. “It would have to take something special and almost perfect, but I believe in miracles. They’re playing very steady and it’s just an easy walk in the park for them.”
Final round action begins at 8 a.m. ET with players going off No. 1 and No. 10 tees in groups of three. A trophy presentation will follow competition, as well as the Volvik Race for the Card top-10 ceremony.
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, including their projected season money total.
Each individual’s current place in the final tournament of the Symetra Tour season, as well as that spot’s earnings, is in parentheses.
- Ruixin Liu - $118,879 (T1; $27,790)
- Dottie Ardina (Laguna, Philippines) - $97,375 (T21; $2,421)
- Pavarisa Yoktuan - $86,272 (T1; $27,790)
- Elizabeth Szokol (Winnetka, Illinois) - $73,847 (5; $9,965)
- Kendall Dye - $71,375 (T3; $14,112)
- Linnea Ström (Hovas, Sweden) - $71,319 (T9; $4,856)
- Stephanie Meadow (Jordanstown, Northern Ireland) - $68,816 (T21; $2,421)
- Isi Gabsa (Munich, Germany) - $63,207 (T6; $7,043)
- Dana Finkelstein (Chandler, Arizona) - $61,164 (T13; $3,413)
- Charlotte Thomas (Guildford, England) - $60,387 (T45; $1,145)
- Min Seo Kwak (Seoul, Republic of Korea) - $58,570 (T49; $999)
- Stephanie Kono (Honolulu, Hawaii) - $58,507 (T13; $3,413)
- Jenny Haglund (Karlstad, Sweden) - $58,219 (T41; $1,305)