Symetra playoff ends with eagle; '15 LPGA cards awarded

By Bailey MosierSeptember 21, 2014, 9:45 pm

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Ten LPGA cards for the 2015 season were on the line Sunday afternoon at LPGA International, but as far as drama goes, that's only the half of it.

Former "Big Break Florida" winner Jackie Stoelting, Symetra Tour rookie Demi Runas and 54th-ranked Marita Engzelius all finished at 10-under 278 and went into a three-way playoff for the Symetra Tour Championship. They replayed the par-5 18th at LPGA International, and despite great birdies by Stoelting and Runas, they both came up short. 

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Engzelius knocked her second shot to 5 feet and made the putt for eagle to win her first Symetra Tour title. She didn't get her card for next season, but the $22,500 first-place prize moved her to 15th on the season-long money list and makes her exempt into the third stage of LPGA Q-School.

Stoelting's runner-up finish (thanks to an 8-under 64) marks her third of the season and seventh top 10. She is the Symetra Tour's highest earner ($60, 452) in a single season without a win.

Runas was 15th on the money list entering this week and didn't know what she had to do to earn her card. She didn't realize she earned her way onto the LPGA next year until after the playoff was complete. "It's a dream come true," Runas said, who shot 7-under 65 Sunday to get into the playoff.

In the second round, Runas got bit by a fire ant and had to go to the ER - she's incredibly allergic to bug bites. The doctors gave her some shots and told her to take it easy for a few days, but she knew that wasn't an option.

"My ankle swoll up and was the size of my calf. I had a cankle," Runas said.


To keep her bug bite out of the sun, Runas decided to wear long socks for the weekend. After her near-win Sunday, she said she's considering wearing long socks going forward. And for those concerned souls out there - the swelling has gone down and her cankle is no more!

Runas was the only player from outside the top 10 at the beginning of the week to jump into the top 10. Runas knocked out previously 10th-ranked Veronica Felibert, who finished in a tie for 34th and 11th on the money list, $940 behind No. 10 on the money list, Mallory Blackwelder.

The 10 ladies who earned their 2015 LPGA cards on Sunday are:


1. Marissa Steen ($75,348)
2. Min Seo Kwak ($69,143)
3. Jackie Stoelting ($60,452)
4. Sadena Parks ($57,597)
5. Min Lee ($57,011)
6. Wei-Ling Hsu ($53,004)
7. Yueer Cindy Feng ($51,992)
8. Kendall Dye ($47,684)
9. Demi Runas ($45,095)
10. Mallory Blackwelder ($41,381)

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Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

“It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

“What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

“When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

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Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.

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Farmers inks 7-year extension through 2026

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:04 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance has signed a seven-year extension to serve as the title sponsor for the PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines, it was announced Tuesday. The deal will run through 2026.

“Farmers Insurance has been incredibly supportive of the tournament and the Century Club’s charitable initiatives since first committing to become the title sponsor in 2010,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

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“We are extremely grateful for the strong support of Farmers and its active role as title sponsor, and we are excited by the commitment Farmers has made to continue sponsorship of the Farmers Insurance Open for an additional seven years.

In partnership with Farmers, the Century Club – the tournament’s host organization – has contributed more than $20 million to deserving organizations benefiting at-risk youth since 2010. 

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Woods impresses DeChambeau, Day on Tuesday

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 11:27 pm

SAN DIEGO – Bryson DeChambeau played with Tiger Woods for the first time Tuesday morning, and the biggest surprise was that he wasn’t overcome by nerves.

“That’s what I was concerned about,” DeChambeau said. “Am I just gonna be slapping it around off the tee? But I was able to play pretty well.”

So was Woods.

DeChambeau said that Woods looked “fantastic” as he prepares to make his first PGA Tour start in a year.

“His game looks solid. His body doesn’t hurt. He’s just like, yeah, I’m playing golf again,” DeChambeau said. “And he’s having fun, too, which is a good thing.”

Woods arrived at Torrey Pines before 7 a.m. local time Tuesday, when the temperature hadn’t yet crept above 50 degrees. He warmed up and played the back nine of Torrey Pines’ South Course with DeChambeau and Jason Day.

“He looks impressive; it was good to see,” Day told afterward. “You take (Farmers) last year and the Dubai tournament out, and he hasn’t really played in two years. I think the biggest thing is to not get too far ahead, or think he’s going to come back and win straight away.

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“The other time he came back, I don’t think he was ready and he probably came back too soon. This time he definitely looks ready. I think his swing is really nice, he’s hitting the driver a long way and he looks like he’s got some speed, which is great.”

Woods said that his caddie, Joe LaCava, spent four days with him in South Florida last week and that he’s ready to go.

“Before the Hero I was basically given the OK probably about three or four weeks prior to the tournament, and I thought I did pretty good in that prep time,” Woods told, referring to his tie for ninth in the 18-man event.

“Now I’ve had a little more time to get ready for this event. I’ve played a lot more golf, and overall I feel like I’ve made some nice changes. I feel good.”

Woods is first off Torrey Pines’ North Course in Wednesday’s pro-am, scheduled for 6:40 a.m. local time.