LIU CAPTURES FOURTH CAREER SYMETRA TOUR TITLE
A steady 1-under par 71 final round from Ruixin Liu (Guangdong, People’s Republic of China) proved to be enough for the 21-year-old to capture the seventh annual FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship at 13-under overall, her fourth career Symetra Tour title.
“It feels really great because after the long offseason, it proves that everything I am doing is on the right track,” said Liu, who last won the 2018 Symetra Tour Championship. “Especially after resting my foot for two months, I feel that I really improved myself and my game. I am really proud of myself for pulling this through.”
Thanks to the $26,250 payday, Liu climbs to No. 2 in the Volvik Race for the Card with $30,319 earned across two events played on the “Road to the LPGA” this year. She will take the momentum to Toledo, Ohio for two events in the LPGA Tour restart, beginning with the inaugural LPGA Drive On Championship from July 31-August 2 at Inverness Club.
“I will just try to do exactly what I did this week—be patient, and get as much rest for my foot as I can,” Liu said after recording three birdies and two bogeys in the final round. “My saves were really good, as well as chipping. My putting the first two days really gave me a lot of chances and put me in this spot.”
TARDY EARNS CAREER-BEST FINISH, TIES CAREER ROUND
Bailey Tardy (Norcross, Georgia) made a strong Sunday charge with a bogey-free, 6-under par 66 at Battle Creek Country Club to secure a Symetra Tour career-best finish of runner-up. She hit all 18 greens in regulation this afternoon to conclude the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship at 11-under overall.
“I played pretty well yesterday, but I left a lot of putts out there the first day, had 32 putts,” said Tardy, who recorded four birdies and an eagle today. “I knew if I kept ball striking it the same way, then I would keep giving myself opportunities and the putts would fall.
“Today, I made a couple short ones on the front nine for birdie and drained like a 50-foot putt on No. 9 for eagle and was pretty hot at the turn. Hit a cold streak on the back, maybe nerves got ahold of me.”
Following the eagle, Tardy looked off in the distance across No. 18 green at the leaderboard. She quickly realized where she stood and what was at stake over the final nine holes.
“I was a little nervous. Didn’t really mean to look, just saw it through the trees,” said Tardy, who tied a career-best score to par on the Symetra Tour. “I knew if I put a good score down today that I would be in contention. I’m proud of the way I finished, especially since the last couple holes aren’t very easy.”
VOLVIK RACE FOR THE CARD STANDINGS AFTER WEEK TWO
Following the second tournament of the Symetra Tour season, the Volvik Race for the Card welcomes a fresh top-10.
The victory and $26,250 winner’s check move Liu up four spots to No. 2 with $30,319 earned across two total starts this season. Here is a look at the current top-10 heading into the inaugural Founders Tribute at Longbow Golf Club in Mesa, Ariz., from August 14-16:
1. Janie Jackson (Huntsville, Alabama) - $30,682
2. Ruixin Liu - $30,319
3. Bailey Tardy - $16,392
4. Daniela Iacobelli (Melbourne, Florida) - $11,771
5. Kim Kaufman (Clark, South Dakota) - $8,375
6. Lakareber Abe (The Woodlands, Texas) - $8,310
7. Lauren Coughlin (Charlottesville, Virginia) - $6,867
7. Yae Eun Hong (Seoul, Republic of Korea) - $6,867
9. Dewi Weber (Groningen, Netherlands) - $5,776
10. Paula Reto (Bloemfontein, South Africa) - $5,663
10. Ji Eun Baik (Cumming, Georgia) - $5,663
Kim Kaufman (-9, T4) on her overall performance this week:
“Early in the week, I was not hitting the ball very well and normally it would really throw me off, I would be nervous about it. I just came out here with a different attitude and know that I’ve done enough work to play well. We hung in there and my short game really propped up the rest of my game. I only had one bogey, which is a record for me, I think. I love this golf course and if you’re playing well, there’s birdies out there. Enjoyed playing again.”
Gabrielle Shipley (-9, T4) on how special of a week it was for her:
“Since I turned professional, this has been probably the most special event with everything—playing with my sister, having family here, the support of the community and having FireKeepers believe in me to give me the [tournament] sponsor exemption. Other than Nationals my senior year [at Grand Valley] and winning that, this is the best golf moment so far.”
Paula Reto (-8, T6) on her second straight top-10 finish at FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship:
“The layout [of the course] gets me more focused because it demands a good tee shot. With a little bit smaller targets, it gives me a different focus and is good for me. I like the greens and read them pretty well, adapted quickly the first couple days of practice. It’s putting and driving for me, and is a lot cooler here than Florida.”
- Born November 13, 1998
- Liu is a native of Shenzhen, People’s Republic of China
- Loves otters and especially enjoys equestrian when not playing golf
- Finished T67 at 2016 LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament to first earn Symetra Tour status
- Three-time Symetra Tour champion in 2018 to finish at No. 1 in the Volvik Race for the Card
- 2018 Symetra Tour graduate to first earn LPGA Tour membership as 2019 LPGA Tour rookie
- Sixth player in Symetra Tour history to surpass $100,000 in single-season earnings ($124,839) en route to 2018 Symetra Tour Player of the Year honors
- Made six cuts across 20 starts as a 2019 LPGA rookie with season-best finish T11 at Marathon Classic presented by Dana
- Total of 40 events played in Symetra Tour career entering 2020 with 10 top-10 performances