ITURRIOZ TAKES COMMAND AT HALFWAY POINT
Seven birdies this afternoon helped Nuria Iturrioz (Mallorca, Spain) to a 5-under par 67 and vaulted her into the 36-hole outright lead in the 12th annual Symetra Tour Championship. She takes a two-stroke advantage into the weekend at LPGA International of 11-under overall.
“I always come to win the tournament, it doesn’t matter about the prize money,” said Iturrioz. “I know I have to play well this week, so I’m trying. There is still 36 holes to play, and here [on the Jones Course] it is easy to make a really good round. So, we will see tomorrow and then see what happens Sunday.”
In late May, Iturrioz captured her first Symetra Tour title at the inaugural Zimmer Biomet Championship hosted by Nancy Lopez. The event featured the largest purse in Symetra Tour history of $300,000 and in turn, provided the biggest winner’s payout ever on the “Road to the LPGA” at $45,000.
“Of course this is more important than maybe last week or two weeks ago, because [the purse] is bigger and gives more of an opportunity to make it to the LPGA,” said Iturrioz, who entered the season finale at No. 14 in the Volvik Race for the Card. “Of course, I’m thinking about all of it. I was practicing last week and changed a couple things, so now I’m getting more confident.”
PRESENT IS SOLE FOCUS FOR WEARN
One of two competitors two shots back of the lead at 9-under par overall is past Symetra Tour champion Laura Wearn (Charlotte, North Carolina) after a 2-under 70 second round.
Wearn won the 2016 Gosling’s Dark ‘n Stormy Classic and has already secured Symetra Tour Category A membership for 2020 as she will finish in the top-80 on the Volvik Race for the Card money list. Even though the situation is familiar to Wearn, she is focused on the present task at hand.
“I’ve played this course so many times and remember a lot of great shots, lot of bad shots,” said Wearn, an 18-hole co-leader. “I think it’s just trying to kind of start with a blank slate and hit the best shots I can. Today was really frustrating, so hopefully I’ll have a good day on Saturday and Sunday. I’m glad that I put myself in a good position, but there’s so much golf left and I’m hoping to make a lot of birdies.”
PROJECTED VOLVIK RACE FOR THE CARD TOP-10
The battle in the Volvik Race for the Card top-10 is as heated as ever with only half the LPGA Tour cards secured for 2019. Below is a projection of the top-10 based on the current Symetra Tour Championship leaderboard, along with each individual’s projected season money total.
1. Perrine Delacour (Paris, France) - $123,209
2. Patty Tavatanakit (Bangkok, Thailand) - $118,368
3. Ssu-Chia Cheng (Taipei, Chinese Taipei) - $100,383
4. Nuria Iturrioz - $98,337
5. Jillian Hollis (Rocky River, Ohio) - $97,952
6. Julieta Granada (Asuncion, Paraguay) - $97,635
7. Leona Maguire (County Cavan, Ireland) - $92,638
8. Jenny Coleman (Rolling Hills Estates, California) - $92,388
9. Robynn Ree (Redondo Beach, California) - $87,651
10. Esther Lee (Los Alamitos, California) - $84,923
11. Mind Muangkhumsakul (Banphai, Thailand) - $81,046
12. Kyung Kim (Chandler, Arizona) - $72,805
13. Min Seo Kwak (Seoul, Republic of Korea) - $72,239
Volvik Race for the Card No. 6 Julieta Granada (-8, T4) on her performance:
“Yesterday’s round was pretty frustrating, so today’s round was very welcome. A lot of putts dropped, I hit the ball well, stayed patient and just did a lot of good things. I was pumped about it. This is still a tournament and somebody has to win it, so I might as well leave everything that I have to try. The goal for the year is top-10 and no matter what, just get it done.”
Volvik Race for the Card No. 8 Jenny Coleman (-8, T4) on taking pressure off my making the cut:
“I came into the week with a pretty good gap behind me, people were going to have to chase me more than I need to chase up the rankings. Now, making the cut and playing super well makes it easier for me and I can just close it out. It does take a little pressure off now.”
Volvik Race for the Card No. 27 Dewi Weber (-8, T4) on needing a win to have a chance at the top-10:
“I need to win and be really lucky with whoever places in second, third and fourth, I think. Even just the strategy going into it is to go for all the pins, make as many birdie opportunities. It doesn’t matter if I would have missed the cut because I’m safe for Q-Series. Fortunately, I’m hitting the ball really well and am hitting it really close. Now just need a few more putts to drop and I’ll be all good.”
- Iturrios, 23, is a native of Mallorca, Spain
- Member of the Ladies European Tour (LET) since 2016 with more than 35 career starts
- Stepped into winner’s circle for the first time as a professional at the 2016 Lalla Meryem Cup
- Rookie on the Symetra Tour in 2018 competed in 19 events and made 11 cuts with season-best T5 result at Danielle Downey Credit Union Classic
- Captured back-to-back LET tournament titles between late April and early May of 2019 at the Lalla Meryem Cup and Omega Dubai Moonlight Classic
- Played the weekend 13 times in 17 starts on the “Road to the LPGA” this year and stepped into the winner’s circle for first time in her Symetra Tour career at inaugural Zimmer Biomet Championship hosted by Nancy Lopez