DAVIDSON, N.C. — A total of 84 players will take on the challenge that River Run Country Club presents starting Tuesday with the first round of the 13th annual Symetra Tour Championship.
Three featured groups highlight the competition for the 10th and final event of the 2020 Symetra Tour season. Nine of the top-11 players on the Volvik Race for the Card money list comprise these groups as the top five in the standings at the conclusion of the Symetra Tour Championship earn a spot in the U.S. Women’s Open field in December and LPGA Tour membership for the 2021 season.
Ana Belac, Kim Kaufman, Bailey Tardy (No. 1 tee, 10:20 a.m.)
As the battle for the Volvik Race for the Card top five and Symetra Tour Player of the Year concludes this week, Ana Belac (Portoroz, Slovenia) is No. 2 on the money list with $47,132 in season earnings. Coming off her first professional victory at the Carolina Golf Classic presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Belac made her pro debut at the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship in July and has not missed a cut across eight total starts, capturing six top-25 results along the way.
Adding to the firepower of this trio is Kim Kaufman (Clark, South Dakota), entering Mecklenburg County at No. 3 in the Volvik Race for the Card. Kaufman tied for 68th at the 2013 Symetra Tour Championship, her lone appearance in this tournament. This year, the Texas Tech University alumna has secured a total of six top-20s including her third career Symetra Tour title at the Four Winds Invitational in September.
Perhaps the most improved player on the Symetra Tour is Bailey Tardy (Norcross, Georgia), who is No. 4 in the Volvik Race for the Card standings. A University of Georgia graduate, her second year on Tour has yielded several solid performances. Across nine starts, Tardy has racked up four top-10 finishes including a career-best of runner-up at the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship. Tardy ended in a tie for 27th at the 2013 Symetra Tour Championship as a tournament sponsor exemption and tied for 51st in 2019.
Peiyun Chien, Lucy Li, Anna Redding (No. 1 tee, 10:09 a.m.)
She has only competed in four Symetra Tour events in 2020, but Peiyun Chien (Pingtung, Chinese Taipei) has left her mark. Chien stepped into the winner’s circle for the second time in her Symetra Tour career at the Symetra Classic last month and added a top-10 last week in the Carolina Golf Classic presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. In 2016, Chien captured nine top-10s on the Symetra Tour to earn a spot in the Volvik Race for the Card top-10 as a Symetra Tour graduate.
Symetra Tour rookie Lucy Li (Redwood Shores, California) joins this featured group fresh off a fourth top-15 finish in her eighth start. The 18-year-old secured a career-best performance in Daytona Beach at LPGA International for the Symetra Classic last month and previously recorded an 18-hole career-best in the final round of the Founders Tribute in August when she fired a 6-under 66.
Another rookie on the Symetra Tour in 2020, Anna Redding (Concord, North Carolina) is set to compete just 15 miles from her hometown. The University of Virginia alumna has three top five performances so far this season with a career-best of runner-up at the IOA Championship presented by Morongo Casino Resort & Spa. Redding is looking to rebound after her first missed cut this year at Carolina Golf Classic.
Janie Jackson, Laura Wearn, Lauren Coughlin (No. 1 tee, 9:58 a.m.)
Janie Jackson (Huntsville, Alabama) followed her first professional title at the Florida’s Natural Charity Classic in March with a solo third result at the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship in July. Since then she has made the cut in four of seven starts with a top showing of tied for 37th at Pinehurst No. 9 in the Carolina Golf Classic. Last year, Jackson finished in a tie for second at the Symetra Tour Championship.
The defending Symetra Tour Championship winner Laura Wearn (Charlotte, North Carolina) makes this a truly formidable featured group. Wearn added a third Symetra Tour title to her resume this year with a win at the IOA Golf Classic presented by HomeValue.com, one of three top-25 results for the Furman University alumna in 2020. Wearn was a two-time All-Southern Conference performer for the Paladins.
Rounding out the final trio is No Laying Up young hitter Lauren Coughlin (Charlottesville, Virginia). She has captured four top-10s across seven starts on the Symetra Tour this season and earned a career-best on the LPGA Tour of tied for 34th in the