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LPGA Today

Symetra Tour Final 2013 - Another Reality Show

October 11, 2013

by William Szczepanek

Last year I wrote an article about Q School for the LPGA and how television coverage would be better than many reality shows we now have on TV.  Well, I have another TV program that would be of interest to those who follow the LPGA ─ the Symetra Tour Championship. It is the final tournament of the Symetra Tour season and is four rounds of golf that will determine the final chance for someone to get an LPGA Tour card without having to qualify through Q School by finishing in the top ten money list for the year.

While the top few positions in the rankings were pretty much assured a top ten finish, those in and around tenth place would be playing in the tournament of their lives. Every year, without fail, there are big winners and big losers.

Meghan McChrystalThis year the final tournament was won by Megan McChrystal, but winning was not enough to get her into the top ten. She finished 18th for the year, climbing to that spot from 58th place the week before. Generally, 2 wins in the season will get you into the top ten. 2013 found 14 different winners out of 15 tournaments which meant the differences from one player to the next were largely determined by high finishes week in and week out. Christine Song was the only golfer to register 2 wins.

PK KongkraphanThe leader and first place winner of the 2013 Symetra Tour season was P.K. Kongkraphan.from Thailand.   Five countries were represented in the top ten which included:

1 P.K. Kongkraphan - Thailand
2 Giulia Molinaro - Italy
3 Marina Alex - USA
4 Christine Song - USA
5 Cydney Clanton - USA
6 Sue Kim - Canada
7 Hannah Jun - USA
8 Perrine Delacour - France
9 Alena Sharp - Canada
10 Jacyln Sweeney - USA

The next ten who do not already have LPGA Tour status, while extremely disappointed, did receive automatic entry into Stage III of the LPGA Qualifying Tournament. Olivia Jordan-Higgins had the ultimate misfortune of dropping from 8th place to 11th place in the final week to miss getting her card by $114. One shot better in her opening rounds would have vaulted her into 10th place. Best of luck to Olivia at Q-school.

Jaclyn SweeneyJaclyn Sweeney was the fortunate one, qualifying in 10th place by $114; or, in other words ─ 1 shot higher in any of her four rounds would have eliminated her, but instead we can look forward to seeing her on the LPGA tour next year. She did play in her first LPGA tournament at the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup as a result of winning Visitmesa.Com Gateway Classic at Longbow Golf Club on the Symetra Tour. I saw her at both tournaments and was impressed with her play and demeanor as a rookie.

Alena SharpAnother story is the one of Canadian, Alena Sharp, who has nearly a million dollars in winnings on the LPGA Tour over the past eight years, but who lost her card in 2013. She worked hard preparing on the Cactus Tour and grinding through the Symetra Tour with no wins, but five top tens, while playing in only 8 tournaments. Welcome back Alena.

Perrine Delacour of France vaulted from 20th place to finish 8th as a result of her 2nd place finish in the final event, again taking that position by 1 stroke giving her enough money to get her into the top ten.

In fact, there were 8 winners on the Symentra Tour through the course of the year who failed to qualify for LPGA status, so consistent results prove to be the best indicator of success.

Considering this was an open week on the LPGA Tour it would have been great to see coverage of the final round of the final Symetra Tour event. I'm sure all it would take would be a sponsor.

We look forward to seeing all of these young ladies on the tour in 2014 and wish them the best of luck.




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