Peiyun Chien (Pingtung, Chinese Taipei) came into the Circling Raven Championship on the heels of three consecutive missed cuts. With a last-minute putter change, she carded 19 birdies and three bogeys over three days to finish -16, good enough for a one-shot victory over Demi Runas. It was Chien’s third career win on the Symetra Tour.
“I think the course condition was really good and everyone played very well. You need to putt very well here and make more birdies to win a tournament,” said Chien. “I wasn’t playing very well this year so this win gives me a lot of confidence to fight until the end.”
The Hitachi Ladies Open champion spent the first two days pushing her own cart. Recognizing she was tired she called a good friend, Min Chen, to see if she would be able to fly out on Sunday to caddy for the final round. Chien felt the support not only from her caddy today but her fellow Tour Members this whole week.
“Because I (felt) like on my back nine yesterday I was too tired to push the cart by myself and needed someone to help me, I called (Min) last night and said if you can come that would be great and let’s enjoy this week,” said Chien “I met a lot of new friends this week and we had a lot of competitions for chipping which made me better. I learned so much from every Tour (Member). So I am happy to be on Tour to continue to get better.”
DEMI RUNAS TIES CAREER-BEST FINISH OF RUNNER-UP
Starting the day two shots behind the leaders did not phase Demi Runas (Torrance, California) from finding her way to a solo second at the Circling Raven Championship. A final-round 7-under 66 moved Runas up the leaderboard and gave her a season-best finish.
“I was really thinking about a lot today. Getting to close and holding the lead the last event to this week, I really wanted to finish this week on a high note and give myself a chance,” said Runas. “I had a little bit of a shaky start but I made a little bit of a run and I can’t really ask for anything else. I think it’s just something about this area. It’s beautiful, it’s very calm and I am thankful that we had this week.”
Since Runas’ rookie season in 2014, she has claimed 16 career top-10 finishes. She may not have claimed the title, but having friends celebrating with her as she come off 18-tee no matter what the outcome, it sounds like she may have won something on Tour that holds even a deeper meaning.
“It means more than I can really put into words. It’s a family out here and I am just so grateful for all the people I have met along the way. Some of the best friendships that I have made out here really are more like family.”
RACE FOR THE CARD STANDINGS AFTER WEEK 16
Following the 16th tournament of the 2021 Symetra Tour season, the Race for the Card reshuffles:
The victory and $30,000 winner’s check helped Chien move to the No. 15 spot with $51,202 earned through 13 total starts this season. Here is a look at the current top-10 heading into the Guardian Championship:
1. Lilia Vu (Fountain Valley, California) - $143,747
2. Ruixin Liu (Guangdong, People’s Republic of China) - $95,281
3. Casey Danielson (Osceola, Wisconsin) - $89,131
4. Fatima Fernandez Cano (Santiago, Spain) - $84,399
5. Maude-Aimee Leblanc (Sherbrooke, Quebec) - $81,554
6. Rachel Rohanna (Marianna, Pennsylvania) - $70,799
7. Morgane Metraux (Laussane, Switerzland) - $65,189
8. Allison Emrey (Charlotte, North Carolina) - $64,731
9. Amanda Doherty (Atlanta, Georgia) - $62,999
10. Bailey Tardy (Norcross, Georgia) - $58,668