PANO ON DOORSTEP OF HISTORY
One of four players tied for the lead at 8-under par overall in the inaugural SKYiGOLF Championship is 14-year-old amateur Alexa Pano (Lake Worth, Florida), who has a chance to rewrite the record books in tomorrow’s final round at Charlotte Harbor National Golf Club at Bobcat Trail.
The youngest champion in the 39-year history of the Symetra Tour is Hannah O’Sullivan. She won the 2015 Gateway Classic at Longbow Golf Club in Mesa, Ariz. at the age of 16 and is now a sophomore at Duke University. Meanwhile, the last sponsor exemption to come out victorious on the Symetra Tour was seven-time LPGA Tour winner Brooke Henderson at the 2015 Four Winds Invitational.
If Pano wins, it would be no coincidence that it’s O’Sullivan’s mark she breaks.
“I met her on my visit to Duke in the fall of 2017,” said Pano. “We ate lunch and she showed me around because back then you could do visits. It’s something I’m used to, playing up in events a lot I hear ‘youngest person ever’ so often. It kind of went away now that I’m 14, but here we are again.”
Furthermore, the first Symetra Tour event Pano competed in as a sponsor exemption was the 2018 Four Winds Invitational in South Bend, Ind. at Blackthorn Golf Club, the same place Henderson took home the hardware a few years earlier.
REYNOLDS SPRINGING FORWARD THE HANDS OF TIME
A 20-year age span in the final pairing on a Sunday of a Symetra Tour event is something fans in North Port, Fla. will see for the first time tomorrow when Pano and Jean Reynolds (Newnan, Georgia) head off from No. 1 tee at 1:45 p.m. ET.
Starting her 12th year as a professional, Reynolds shot a bogey-free, 2-under par 34 going out today. She then set fire to the back nine with four birdies over her final six holes to finish round three at 5-under par 67.
“I get to sleep in, it’s great,” Reynolds said laughingly. “My game is better than it usually starts off at the beginning of the year. I usually come out stone cold and I’m not quite ready to get going. I’m just glad to be playing this season. It was rough for me last year and wasn’t sure if I would be out here.”
In 2018, the University of Georgia alumna made 20 starts on the official qualifying tour of the LPGA and played the weekend six times. Her season-best result was tied for 14th at the Garden City Charity Classic.
URIELL TURNING IN PHENOMENAL PROFESSIONAL DEBUT
The top rookie in the SKYiGOLF Championship after 54 holes isAlana Uriell (Carlsbad, California), who is one of four players at 7-under par overall and just one shot back of the leaders.
Uriell turned in a bogey-free, 4-under par 68 this afternoon to move up eight spots after starting the round tied for 13th. She has one collegiate victory under her belt and 14 additional top-10 finishes, as the University of Arkansas alumna now looks to step into the winner’s circle for the first time as a professional.
“It’s pretty crazy what hard work can do,” said Uriell, a 2018 All-SEC First Team selection. “I don’t even really realize how good it is yet, I think. My putting has been my friend this week and if I continue that I’ll see some good results. Always nerves being my pro debut so that is in the back of my mind, but nerves are a good thing.”
Lauren Kim (-8, T1) on her gameplan for the final round being in a four-way tie:
“Trying to do the same thing I’ve done all week. I’ve been working really hard on keeping my head in it and attitude in check. Today was really actually a grind for me out there, felt like I was close to losing it a couple times. It was really up and down, like a roller coaster round. It’s kind of more fun this way and we’ll see who comes out on top.”
Allison Emrey (-8, T1) on how the third round finished and goals she has in front of her:
“Today, everything was just a little bit off and I felt like the course played different with the wind. Get back to what I was doing the last two days and hopefully it will work out. It’s great to put yourself in contention going into the last day and that was my goal coming into this tournament since it is such a big purse.”
Ruixin Liu (-7, T5) on the possibility of a third consecutive win (dating back to last season):
“Three-in-a-row is not easy for anyone, so it would be a huge achievement. I feel really comfortable right now playing on this course. I don’t know how tomorrow is going to go, but I will try my best and hope to win my third straight.”
- Currently sits at No. 9 in the Rolex American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) Rankings and is just 14 years old
- Born in Westborough, Massachusetts, but resides in Lake Worth, Florida
- Two-time winner of her respective division at the Drive, Chip & Putt Championship
- Runner-up at 2018 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship, member of the victorious East Team at the 2018 Wyndham Cup and helped lead Team USA to the 2018 Junior Ryder Cup title
- Competed in the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic and Four Winds Invitational last year, her first events on the LPGA Tour and Symetra Tour
- Accepted invitation to participate in the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur from April 3-6, 2019 with the final round to take place at Augusta National Golf Club
- Appeared in the Netflix documentary “The Short Game” as a 7-year-old
- Reynolds, 34, is a native of Newnan, Georgia
- Attended the University of Georgia and spent one year on the women’s golf team as a redshirt
- As a rookie on the Symetra Tour in 2008, made the cut in 11-of-15 starts with two top-10 results including a season-best T5 at the Mercedes-Benz of Kansas City Championship
- Two-time Symetra Tour champion in 2009 at the Horseshoe Casino Classic and Florida’s Natural Charity Classic
- 2009 Symetra Tour graduate thanks to the two victories and total of 10 top-10 finishes to end the year No. 2 in the Volvik Race for the Card
- Made 21 starts on the LPGA Tour between rookie year in 2010 and 2011 with a career-best showing of T19 at 2011 RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup
- Sidelined with a shoulder injury for most of the 2012 season
- Total of 157 events played on the Symetra Tour entering 2019 with 21 top-10s, two wins and 112 cuts made
- Kim, 24, is a native of Los Altos, California
- Led Stanford University to the program’s first NCAA Division I Women’s Golf National Championship title in 2015
- Named the 2016 Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year in the sport of women’s golf as a senior
- Three-time Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) First Team All-American for the Cardinal and two-time All-Pac 12 First Team selection
- Finished T29 at the Final Stage of the 2016 LPGA Qualifying Tournament to earn Priority List Category 17 status for the 2017 LPGA Tour season
- Rookie on both the Symetra Tour and LPGA Tour in 2017 where she made 20 and two starts, respectively
- Finished T45 at the Final Stage of the 2017 LPGA Qualifying Tournament to earn Priority List Category 17 status for the 2018 LPGA Tour season
- Competed in 14 LPGA Tour events during the 2018 season with a best result of T17 at the Shoprite LPGA Classic presented by Acer
- Made the cut in all seven Symetra Tour starts last year and become a first-time winner at the Florida’s Natural Charity Classic
- Finished T23 at the inaugural LPGA Q-Series to earn Priority List Category 14 status for the 2019 LPGA Tour season
- Emrey, 25, is a native of Charlotte, North Carolina
- Winner of the 2009 North South Junior Championship and 2015 Colorado State Women’s Open
- Named a Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) Honorable Mention All-American as a senior at Wake Forest University in 2015
- Finished T45 at the Final Stage of the 2017 LPGA Qualifying Tournament to earn Priority List Category 17 membership for the 2018 LPGA Tour season
- Made 10 starts on the LPGA Tour as a rookie in 2018
- Entering 2019, total of 49 starts on the Symetra Tour since rookie year in 2016 with a career-best solo fifth finish at the 2017 IOA Golf Classic