Nicole Broch Larsen (Hillerod, Denmark) hit her approach shot on the first playoff hole to 14 feet and calmly sank the birdie putt to defeat Ally McDonald (Fulton, Miss.) to win the Symetra Tour Championship presented by IOA for her first Symetra Tour victory.

Broch Larsen earns the first-place check of $30,000 and jumps from 69th to 20th on the final Volvik Race for the Card money list with $41,677 in only four starts.

“I was very emotional,” Broch Larsen said. “It’s been a long day. Ally and I had a good fight out there and just went up and down with who was going to win. The way it happened with me and Ally having a battle out there it was big for me.”

After battling back-and-forth throughout the final-round and firing matching rounds of 67 to post 18-under, it only seemed right that Broch Larsen and McDonald played an extra hole to decide the winner.

“I’m proud of how I played today,” McDonald said. “It’s fitting that it came down to a playoff.”

McDonald struck first with a tap in birdie on the first but was quickly matched by Broch Larsen who birdied the second setting the scene for the rest of the day which never saw either player lead by more than two shots.

“I got two shots behind after seven but I just kept patient and then I made three good birdies on 9, 10 and 11 to get back into a tie with Ally,” Broch Larsen said.

From the point where Broch Larsen tied McDonald on 11, the duo exchanged a birdie on the par-5 13th and six pars to setup the playoff and Broch Larsen’s dramatic victory. Broch Larsen had a chance to win in regulation with a 40 footer but left it a few rolls short.

“It was a good club,” Broch Larsen said of her six iron approach on the playoff hole. “I knew it was a good club and if I hit a good shot then I knew it would be close.”

With the win, Broch Larsen will be able to bypass the Second Stage of the LPGA Qualifying Tournament.

“I’m really happy about this victory. Especially coming at this point. I was working hard getting ready for my three week stretch which will actually only be two weeks now which is really nice.”

Broch Larsen will get to celebrate the victory with 7-time LPGA Tour winner Helen Alfredsson who was
hosting Broch Larsen this week.

“She (Helen) has been really good and really nice to me,” said Broch Larsen. “We’ve had a lot of talks about what to do on course and she actually watched me win in Sweden also on the LET (Ladies European Tour).”

LAURA GONZALEZ ESCALLON AND NELLY KORDA MOVE INTO TOP 10: On a day when they needed it most, Laura Gonzalez Escallon (La Hulpe, Belgium) and Nelly Korda (Brandonton, Fla.) put together two beautiful rounds of golf to secure their 2017 LPGA Tour Cards.

Gonzalez Escallon shot a bogey free 67 to finish in third, which moved her from 11th to fifth on the final money list.

“I feel great,” Gonzalez Escallon said. “I had a goal set in my mind and I pretty much did it so I feel so good. I had a good talk with my coach yesterday and he said keep playing your game and relax and it went well.”

Korda used six birdies against a lone bogey to jump from T16 to a tie for sixth to move from 12th to ninth on the final money list.

“It was truthfully everything I dreamed of,” Korda said. “Everything was just kind of flowing. When I shot 6-under on Friday I felt the exact same way and then yesterday I was struggling a little but I came back today strong so I’m happy about that.”

While the duo didn’t show it they both admitted the nerves were there.

“I’m not going to lie on 17 and 18 they were there,” Gonzalez Escallon admitted. “I left my putts short so I think it showed.”

““I was very emotional today,” Korda added. “Probably more nervous on my three footer on the last hole than the four footer that I had to win in Sioux Falls. I was like calm down, calm down. I played really good today. I had one bogey but other than that it was very solid. I was just making a lot of putts so I’m glad all of those putts came today.”

The next stop for the duo and their eight other Volvik Race for the Card graduates will be the LPGA Tour.

“The players out here are extremely good,” Korda said. “The competition is very very good. It was a learning year for me and I definitely learned a lot so I’m extremely grateful for everything that I’ve been through here on the Symetra Tour.”

 

15 PLAYERS HEADED TO FINAL STAGE OF LPGA QUALIFYING TOURNAMENT: Although the top prize is an LPGA Tour card for the 2016, a great consolation prize is the opportunity to skip Stage II of LPGA Qualifying Tournament, which is next week in Venice.

The top 15 players outside of the final ten excluding current LPGA Tour members (already exempt to Final Stage) get to bypass Stage II and go right to Final Stage.

The following Symetra Tour players will skip Stage II.

11. Clariss Guce (Artesia, Calif.)
12. Erica Popson (Davenport, Fla.)
13. Augusta James (Bath, Ontario
16. Brittany Benvenuto (Langhorne, Pa.)
17. Erynne Lee (Silverdale, Wash.)
18. Natalie Sheary (West Hartford, Ct.)
19. Jessica Wallace (Langley, British Columbia)
20. Nicole Broch Larsen (Hillerod, Denmark)
21. Dottie Ardina (Laguna, Philippines)
22. Paola Moreno (Cali, Colombia)
24. Shannon Fish (Spring, Texas)
25. Emma de Groot (Coffs Harbour, Australia)
26. Emma Talley (Princeton, Kentucky)
29. Brittany Marchand (Orangeville, Ontario)
30. Emily Tubert (Burbank, Calif.)

 

Click here for the leaderboard

 

Written By: Symetra Tour Communications

 

Photo Credit: Scott A. Miller

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