— The Symetra Tour annually awards LPGA Tour membership to the top players on the Volvik Race for the Card money list and the conclusion of the Symetra Tour Championship ushers in the 2019 graduating class.
From 1999-2002, the official qualifying tour of the LPGA handed out three cards. Then from 2003-2007, that number increased to five before 10 were distributed starting in 2008. Since the inaugural year, total of 157 players have graduated to the big stage including the top-10 from this season.
Meet the 2019 Symetra Tour graduates!
(Paris, France) - $125,042
Thanks to a 12th top-15 finish on the season at the Symetra Tour Championship, Perrine Delacour seals Symetra Tour Player of the Year honors. Also a Symetra Tour graduate in 2013, she won the Four Winds Invitational in June for her first professional title and later that month was victorious again at the Prasco Charity Championship.
After spending five years on the LPGA Tour, the 25-year-old returns to the big stage where she has made a total of 68 starts. Her career-best result of solo fourth came at the 2015 Kingsmill Championship.
: “Really happy to get my 2020 LPGA card. It was my goal early in the season to achieve this and I did. I’m proud of myself and want to say thank you to everyone who supported me over the last 15 months and especially believed in me during the tough times. Another big thank you to the Symetra Tour for a great year and giving us a growing platform to compete.”
(Bangkok, Thailand) - $117,518
Named the Gaelle Truet Rookie of the Year, Patty Tavatanakit made an immediate impact as soon as she made her debut at the Island Resort Championship. Across 11 tournaments played, the two-time WGCA First Team All-American and seven-time medalist for UCLA captured victories at the Donald Ross Classic, Danielle Downey Credit Union Classic and Sioux Falls GreatLIFE Challenge.
Her consistency shined in several statistical categories, as Tavatanakit led the Symetra Tour this year in scoring average (69.382), par-4 scoring average (3.931) and par-5 scoring average (4.583).
: “It is definitely a dream come true getting my LPGA Tour card for 2020. The decision to turn pro was not easy, starting mid-season and having to catch up with everyone. To be able to do it as fast as I did gives me the confidence I need to compete on the big stage next year. I am very grateful for all the help and support from my parents and sponsors. Without them, none of this would have been possible.”
(Rolling Hills Estates, California) - $104,840
The only individual in the top-10 to play all 23 tournaments, Jenny Coleman came away with 13 top-25s and nine top-10s. Across a stretch of eight events, she finished under par seven times with five top-five performances including a season-best runner-up in the Danielle Downey Credit Union Classic. One could find Coleman ranked fourth on Tour in sub-par holes (249) and birdies (244).
A University of Colorado alumna, she guided the Buffaloes to the first NCAA Division I Championship in program history as a sophomore in 2012. In addition, Coleman held or shared 28 school records when she left Boulder including most events (47) and rounds played (139).
: “It’s awesome and really great to be headed back out there. I definitely earned it this year and deserve it. This just gives me more confidence to give it a go again and I know I’ll do better this time around. I’m very excited.”
(Taipei, Chinese Taipei) - $99,232
In 22 opportunities this season, Ssu-Chia Cheng advanced to the weekend 21 times and finished in the top-10 on the leaderboard for seven of those occasions. She now makes it back to the LPGA Tour after competing on the big stage in the 2016 and 2017 campaigns.
The member of Team Chinese Taipei at the 2016 UL International Crown, Cheng captured her first title as a professional in the 2019 FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship. She was first on Tour with 260 sub-par holes and nine eagles, second in birdies (251) and fourth in sub-par rounds at 65.7 percent with 46 of her 70 rounds played under par.
: “There’s no way to put it other than I am so, so happy. Spending two years on the Symetra Tour and now getting my card back to play on the LPGA shows all of the hard work I’ve put in truly pays off. Now I definitely need to train even harder in the offseason to be ready for next year. Big thanks to my mom for caddying, all my sponsors and entire team for getting me here.”
(Rocky River, Ohio) - $98,044
A second-year professional, Jillian Hollis became a first-time winner at the IOA Championship presented by Morongo Casino Resort & Spa and later added a second crown at The Forsyth Classic presented by Decatur Park District. The performances were part of six top-10 results and a total of 10 top-25s.
Hollis was a three-time All-American during her time at the University of Georgia. She then made her pro debut at the 2018 U.S. Women’s Open. In addition, Hollis has competed in several LPGA Tour events including the 2014 Canadian Pacific Women’s Open, as well as 2016 and 2018 Marathon Classic.
: “It’s such a great accomplishment for me to earn my LPGA Tour card. This is something I’ve been working toward since I started playing competitive golf and to finally realize that dream is such an amazing feeling. I’m excited for this next chapter in my career and thanks to the Symetra Tour, I feel fully prepared for the LPGA.”
(Asuncion, Paraguay) - $94,343
Back in 2005, Julieta Granada ended the year at No. 7 on the Symetra Tour official money list to earn an exemption into the Final Stage of the LPGA Qualifying Tournament. She would proceed to finish in a tie for sixth and receive LPGA Tour membership for 2006. That year, the now 32-year-old went on to claim the ADT Championship crown and a LPGA record at the time for a winner’s share of $1 million.
A past Symetra Tour champion in the 2005 YWCA Futures Classic, Granada missed one cut in 19 events played this season. To end the year, she fired even par or better in 18 straight rounds. The 7-under par 65 in the second round of the SKYiGOLF Championship marked Granada’s best score to par in 2019 and led to one of 17 top-25 results.
: “It was humbling to get my game back out on the Symetra Tour after having a pretty solid LPGA career. I’m pumped and excited for the work I put in, for where my game is headed. I think I got top-10s four of the last five weeks so I’m excited about that, it’s all trending up. This whole year has been a lot of learning, a lot of confidence building, a lot of good happening. It is very satisfying.”
(County Cavan, Ireland) - $92,517
Following one of the most storied collegiate careers in NCAA history, Leona Maguire made her debut on the Symetra Tour at the 2018 Forsyth Classic presented by Decatur Park District and tied for third. Over 28 starts since then, she played the weekend 23 times. That stretch includes 11 consecutive cuts made to open 2019, as well as wins in the Windsor Golf Classic and Symetra Classic.
Maguire owns the all-time record for weeks (135) at No. 1 in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking. The four-time WGCA First Team All-American was also a four-time All-ACC selection, three-time ACC Player of the Year, two-time WGCA and ANNIKA National Player of the Year, and two-time runner-up at the NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship for Duke University. Furthermore, Maguire competed in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games with a tied for 21st showing to tie for low amateur.
: “It means a lot. I suppose it has been about a year-and-a-half in the works. It was nice to get those two wins early in the year, which set me up pretty nicely. I didn’t really play my best golf towards the end of the season, but a big week last week helped a lot coming into this week. It was a little close this week. The first two days the leaderboard got a bit bunched, but it was nice to be able to finish it off with a good round today. I’m excited for next year.”
(Redondo Beach, California) - $90,518
Playing in her first full season on the “Road to the LPGA,” Robynn Ree found the winner’s circle for the first time in her professional career at The CDPHP Open in late July. The University of Southern California alumna enjoyed the moment so much, she made it back-to-back titles at the PHC Classic. Over that span, Ree shot a total of 30-under par in the six rounds of competition with a stroke average of 66.50.
As a rookie on the big stage in 2018, she competed in 21 events and played the weekend 10 times with a season-best of tied for ninth at the Cambia Portland Classic. Meanwhile, Ree was perfect when it came to making the cut in 19 starts this year featuring 16 top-25s.
: “Honestly, it’s kind of surreal that this year already ended so fast. I can’t believe the last tournament is already over, and I got my LPGA card back. People are texting me saying ‘’ and I’m like oh yeah I didn’t even realize this was the last tournament. Now that I have my card back, hopefully it will be a different experience next year.”
(Los Alamitos, California) - $87,360
One of the more consistent players in her two years on the Symetra Tour, Esther Lee collected 14 top-10 finishes since debuting at the 2018 Florida’s Natural Charity Classic. Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that in 35 starts she owns 23 top-25s. Lee paced the Tour in sand saves (75.0 percent) and was third in birdies (248).
Another University of Colorado graduate, Lee carded under par performances in nine straight events this season going a combined 65-under. The three-time medalist for the Buffaloes was also a two-time CU Female Co-Athlete of the Year and recognized as Team MVP all three years competing in the Centennial State. Upon graduation, Lee owned 25 total program records including stroke average (73.03), rounds in the 60s with 11 and victories, as well as low 9-hole, 18-hole, 36-hole and 54-hole score.
: “I’m really excited. It’s been a long season of hard work, but it feels great. It’s going to be new challenges, new experiences. I have to prepare as best as I can this offseason, make a couple adjustments in my game and I’ll be ready to go. Last week was a rough week for me, I was hitting it terrible and I didn’t know how I was going to hit it coming into this week. I’m glad I actually hit the ball well this week, just didn’t make any putts. Steady golf all four rounds and that’s all I needed.”
(Banphai, Thailand) - $81,046
Three runner-up finishes and a total of nine top-15 performances landed Mind Muangkhumsakul at the final spot in the Volvik Race for the Card top-10. She returns to the LPGA Tour where she was a rookie in 2018 after ending tied for 21st at the Final Stage of the 2017 LPGA Qualifying Tournament.
This season, Muangkhumsakul concluded by shooting even par or better in 13 consecutive events. She landed six top-10 showings and 12 top-25s in 16 starts. From a statistical perspective, Muangkhumsakul was third in par-4 scoring average (3.974) and fourth in putting average (29.360). A three-time winner on the LPGA of Taiwan, she turned pro at the age of 14.
: “I feel excited for the LPGA. I’m really happy. I tried to get in the top-10, that was my three-year goal because the last year I got some status on the LPGA and I lost it, but this year I tried to get in the top-10. I would like to go back to Thailand, work hard and practice. It’s exciting to practice like I’m planning for next year. It is really exciting.”