Frida Kinhult (Fiskebackskil, Sweden) fired a 2-under par 70 in the final round at River Run Country Club this afternoon to secure the Symetra Tour Championship crown for her first professional title.
She shared the Symetra Tour Championship lead after both the first and second rounds, before taking command in the third round. She opened her final round with a bogey-free, 4-under par 32 on the front nine and then held on for a four-stroke victory at 10-under overall.
“It feels really good, was a lot of work and just, finally,” said Kinhult, fighting back the tears. “I probably didn’t know I was going to win it until the tap-in on the last hole, or the first putt on No. 18. I was most nervous there. I had a great start, tried to keep it up but then had a couple bad decisions. Clubs weren’t really full and hit a couple bad shots, but it’s alright.”
The victory also moved Kinhult into the Volvik Race for the Card top five, earning the Florida State University alumna LPGA Tour membership for the 2021 season and a spot in the 2020 U.S. Women’s Open field contested at Champions Golf Club in Houston, Texas next month.
“That’s so nice and makes the season longer this year, another major,” Kinhult said. “A couple starts on the LPGA Tour next year, just positives all around. And a TrackMan on top of that, which is great.”
BELAC CAPTURES PLAYER OF THE YEAR HONORS
By finishing tied for 26th in the Symetra Tour Championship at River Run Country Club, rookie Ana Belac (Portoroz, Slovenia) cashed $1,949 and added Player of the Year honors to her stellar 2020 resume.
The Duke University alumna captured six top-20 results across nine starts including her first professional win at the Carolina Golf Classic presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. On the year, Belac cashed $49,081 in total season earnings.
“Really? You can probably tell how I feel, I did not expect this. Really cool, I did not see that coming,” Belac said with a smile. “My goal was to finish in the top of the [Volvik] Race for the Card, getting that top five. Last week when I won, I thought why not get the No. 1; it would be a good accomplishment. I didn’t really think about it much. My main goal was just LPGA status. It’s a little shocking, yeah.”
FINAL VOLVIK RACE FOR THE CARD TOP FIVE
Following the 10th and final tournament of the 2020 Symetra Tour season, the Volvik Race for the Card is official and five players have earned LPGA Tour membership for the 2021 season. The top five players also secure exemption into the 2020 U.S. Women’s Open at Champions Golf Club in Houston from Dec. 10-13.
The victory and $26,250 winner’s check move Kinhult up 20 spots to No. 4 with $42,057 earned in eight total starts this season. Below is a look at the final Volvik Race for the Card top-10 standings including the five individuals that secured LPGA Tour membership for next year with their finish in the top five.
1. Ana Belac (Portoroz, Slovenia) - $49,081
2. Fatima Fernandez Cano (Santiago de Compostela, Spain) - $48,069
3. Kim Kaufman (Clark, South Dakota) - $44,459
4. Frida Kinhult (Fiskebackskil, Sweden) - $42,057
5. Janie Jackson (Huntsville, Alabama) - $41,723
6. Bailey Tardy (Norcross, Georgia) - $41,380
7. Laura Wearn (Charlotte, North Carolina) - $41,222
8. Lucy Li (Redwood Shores, California) - $39,556
9. Peiyun Chien (Pingtung, Chinese Taipei) - $38,013
10. Anna Redding (Concord, North Carolina) - $35,345
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. Five cards have been awarded at the end of the Symetra Tour Championship based on the total number of events on the restructured schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the inaugural year, a total of 162 players have graduated to the big stage.
Clear Golf ambassador Demi Runas (-6, 2nd) on her 6-under par 66 in the final round:
“No. 18 owed me one after yesterday. I went out with the mindset that it is the last round of the year and see how many birdies I can make, see what happens. I finally figured out how to roll the putts out here and made some birdies. It was a lot of fun. During the offseason, I’m going to do what I have been doing is work a little bit and get ready for whatever next season has in store, enjoy more time at home that we have and get set for the holidays.”
Sierra Brooks (-4, 3rd) on a career-best finish and back-to-back top-10 finishes to end the season:
“These last two weeks have been a blast and I’m really pleased with the way I finished in both events. The whole season has been a big learning experience for me. I didn’t play the golf I wanted to because I’m not in the top five, but that is ok. I am learning every day and every week. I’m just excited to already get going for next season. It was really cool to see Frida win. You want to pull for your friends.”
Tournament sponsor exemption and amateur Gabriela Ruffels (-1, T5) on using this event to prepare for the Pelican Women’s Championship and U.S. Women’s Open:
“Our fall season got canceled so everyone has been looking for tournaments to play. I’m so grateful that I was able to get this start and then in a couple weeks [at the Pelican Women’s Championship] before the U.S. Open. It’s three great events in a row. It was my first Symetra Tour event and I was blown away by how good these girls are. This is the level just below the LPGA [Tour] and a lot of them are really good players. It shows the depth of women’s golf and it was a great field. I was happy to get the start.”
- Born September 25, 1999
- Kinhult is a native of Fiskebackskil, Sweden
- Two-time winner of the Spanish Ladies Amateur Championship
- Spent seven weeks at No. 1 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings
- Member of victorious Team Europe for the 2019 Vagliano Trophy
- Three-time medalist in her year and a half at Florida State University
- Member of the victorious International Team at 2019 Arnold Palmer Cup
- 2019 Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) First Team All-American
- Set the Seminoles single-season scoring average record of 70.66 as a freshman
- Two-time winner of the European Ladies Team Championship with Team Sweden
- Named the 2019 ACC and WGCA Freshman of the Year, as well as All-ACC selection
- Shared 2019 ACC Player of the Year honors with now LPGA member Jennifer Kupcho
- Her father Mikael is a golf teaching pro and brother Marcus is a European Tour member
- Finished T67 at 2019 LPGA Q-Series to first earn Symetra Tour membership as a 2020 rookie