The third round of the Symetra Tour Championship was suspended at 6:55 p.m. EDT on Saturday due to darkness. On Friday, second-round play was postponed at 1:50 p.m. due to afternoon thunderstorms and resumed at 8:40 a.m. on Saturday after a morning fog delay. The third round officially started at 2:15 p.m. off Nos. 1 and 10 after 71 players made the cut at +1.
Seven groups finished the third round on Saturday, with the remaining set to conclude when competition resumes Sunday at 8 a.m. The final round will begin no earlier than 10:30 a.m., with players teeing off both No. 1 and 10.
Through 11 holes, 36-hole leader Daniela Iacobelli (Melbourne, Fla.) sits alone at the top of the leaderboard at -16 following her 62 on Friday. “I’m pumped. I love a good golf day. I’m ready, let’s go,” said Iacobelli, who made two birdies and a lone bogey on No. 3 to maintain a two-stroke lead heading into the resumption of play. Sophia Schubert (Oak Ridge, Tenn.), defending champion Frida Kinhult (Fiskebackskil, Sweden) and Allie White (Lancaster, Ohio) sit in a tie for second at -14 through 14, 13 and 11 holes, respectively.
HOT OFF MAIDEN TOUR VICTORY, SOPHIA SCHUBERT CLOSE TO FINISHING DREAM SEASON ATOP ANOTHER LEADERBOARD
It’s been the season of dreams for three-year Symetra Tour Member Sophia Schubert (Oak Ridge, Tenn.). The 25-year-old has recorded nine-top 10 finishes in 2021, including her maiden Tour victory at the Carolina Golf Classic presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina that clinched her an LPGA Tour card for the 2022 season through the Race for the Card standings.
And with four holes left of her third round of the Symetra Tour Championship, Schubert is looking to close out the year on a high note, as she currently sits two back of the lead at -14. “I left a few putts short out there the last couple of holes. But I’m playing well, just waiting for a few more putts to drop, but overall I’m pretty happy about it,” said Schubert, who has only posted one bogey in 50 holes at LPGA International.
Schubert’s last six events have produced quite a show of impressive play. Including the first two rounds recorded this week, the University of Texas alum has only posted one round over-par in her last 20. She knows Sunday will be a test – finishing the third round and then another 18 holes to conclude the tournament. But there’s nothing like feeding off the momentum of her first win, said Schubert.
“I came out here trying not to have too many expectations. I just won, so a lot of people are like ‘Oh, you can go win again,’ and I want to obviously, but I just wanted to come out here and play my game stress-free. I feel like the momentum is still going,” said Schubert. “[I’m] just going to keep doing what I’ve been doing. Trying to hit a lot of fairways, lot of greens. Give each putt a chance, and if it goes in then great, but if it doesn’t I can’t be mad at it.”
KINHULT AIMING HIGH AT SYMETRA TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP
Though it may be a different course compared to last year, defending champion Frida Kinhult (Fiskebackskil, Sweden) said she still feels nothing but “good vibes” while closing out the 2021 season. The 2020 Symetra Tour rookie earned her way onto the LPGA Tour in 2021 after finishing fourth on the Race for the Card, helped in part by her victory at 2020 Symetra Tour Championship.
“I’m always pumped up at the end of the year. I tend to play better at the end of the round, the end of the week, the end of the year,” laughed Kinhult as she exited LPGA International’s 14th hole once play was suspended. “That’s a good thing, but I also have to learn to [play well] earlier, but I know I have to do something well this week to [avoid] Stage II. Obviously just going to keep on going and try to keep hitting some good shots and make some putts.”
Kinhult said she feels like she’s playing “stress-free” golf, only having to save for par once on Saturday. She opened her third round with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 1 and 2, adding another two on Nos. 7 and 11. With the Sunday grind ahead of her, the Florida State Seminole said it’s weeks like this that remind her of her college days.
“This morning, we left home by 5:50 so it’s probably going to be the same tomorrow morning. I think we got like 28 holes in today and I have 23 left. If I can manage it today, hopefully I can manage it tomorrow,” said Kinhult. “In college, we played 36 from time to time, so it’s like the good old days. Just keep eating, drinking water, hydrate and just keep going.”
Daniela Iacobelli (1, -16 through 11 holes) on her memories from her 2012 win at the Tour’s season finale:
“I don’t remember any of the golf shots. I remember the last putt on the last hole and I remember that they had a concert on Thursday night. We were staying just off on No. 1 green, so we went up there and the band was like ‘if you know the song, sing along.’ I looked at my caddie and was like ‘Journey, Don’t Stop Believing.’ And he said ‘You’re full of it.’ And it was, and that’s like my favorite song. I looked at him and said ‘we just won the golf tournament.’ He said I was full of it.”
Allie White (T2, -14 through 14 holes) on her mental gave over the past three days:
“I’ve been having a lot of fun this week, so I think I’ll just go have some fun and try to keep breathing…I’m just trying to count and stay present. I feel like if my mind keeps going ahead, thinking about the score, the outcome, thinking about the what ifs, I just try and count my breaths. I try to chit chat a little bit, because when you’re having fun playing golf then it really is a good time.”
Leslie Cloots (T20, -10) on playing through the delays and her strategy for the final 18 holes:
“Today I played 35 holes, so it was a lot. But luckily I had my caddie, so it didn’t feel as tiring. It’s definitely getting more windy as the week goes on, and it was definitely wet today…[Tonight,] I’ll get a good night’s sleep, eat a lot. I’ll probably sleep in tomorrow…have a good breakfast, and just relax.”