YOKTUAN SETS PACE WITH MONSTER FIRST ROUND
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — On day one of the Symetra Tour Championship at LPGA International, Pavarisa Yoktuan (Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand) separated herself with a simply sensational bogey-free, 10-under par 62 performance.
The result is a career-best for Yoktuan and leaves her with a two-stroke advantage heading into tomorrow’s second round.
“I played really good golf, made a lot of putts,” said Yoktuan, who recorded eight birdies and an eagle. “My driver has been great and everything is just really great. It was all easy and I love to play golf like this. Hopefully it keeps me going.”
Entering the final event of the Symetra Tour season at No. 7 in the Volvik Race for the Card, this start has Yoktuan poised to maintain her spot in the top-10.
“It helps a lot starting the tournament with a 10-under,” Yoktuan said. “Before I played today, luckily I didn’t feel stressed or nothing at all, so I could just go out there and play golf. It turned out really good and was a good way to go.”
Meanwhile, the most recent Symetra Tour champion in Ruixin Liu (Dalian, China) picked up right where she left off in Longwood last week. The now two-time winner on the year found her way to 10 birdies and only two bogeys for an 8-under par 64.
Just like her showing in the IOA Golf Classic, it is the flatstick that has Liu continuing the hot streak.
“I feel that my putting is on point and that everything should go in, even when it is uphill then downhill, a 30-foot putt, I’ve never been so good at putting like I was today,” said Liu, who has shot under par in eight straight rounds. “Putting is the main thing and the swing is not many mistakes. Before today, I didn’t even think about getting another win.”
After the morning wave completed play in the first round, it was Elin Arvidsson (Falkenberg, Sweden) holding the clubhouse lead. She signed a 6-under par 66 scorecard, a season-best showing for the Texas Tech University alumna.
“I putted really good with only 26 putts, stroked the ball well and kept it in the fairway for most of the time,” Arvidsson said. “I just had great momentum from the start when I opened with three birdies in a row. I need to keep being smart with the wind and what club to hit because a lot of these holes on the [Jones] course have crosswind, so it’s a little tricky.”
A total of 66 players sit at even par or better after 18 holes and second round action picks up tomorrow at 8 a.m. ET with groups going off No. 1 and No. 10 tees.
JACKSON IN CONTENTION AFTER ANOTHER 7-UNDER PAR DAY ONE
Today wasn’t the first time this season that Janie Jackson (Huntsville, Alabama) scorched the opening round of the tournament at hand.
In addition to her 7-under par 65 performance this afternoon at the Symetra Tour Championship, Jackson also recorded the same score to par on day one of the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship and Garden City Charity Classic.
“The third time this season, but what would be great is if I can capitalize on it this time around and try to put together three more solid rounds of golf,” Jackson said with a smile. “I don’t know what it is about the first round. It’s a clean slate and I’ve had some pretty decent scores.”
The University of Alabama alumna made seven birdies, an eagle and two bogeys to sit three shots back of Pavarisa Yoktuan’s lead.
“This week is huge, the biggest purse we have all year,” said Jackson, currently No. 59 in the Volvik Race for the Card. “I am in a position on the money list where I probably need a top-three finish to be able to skip Stage II of Q-School. To come out and put together a good round on the first day, I’m very pleased.”
Jackson took last week off and was able to come back fresh after not visiting a golf course once. It makes her play today that much more impressive.
“We are finally at the end of a long stretch and that week off was really important for me,” Jackson said. “I rested a lot, honestly did not play golf once and I think at this point in the season getting rest is almost as important as practicing. I felt really good coming into the week having rested and all I have to do is put together a few more solid rounds.”