LONGWOOD, Fla. – It was a week 10 ladies who earned their 2017 LPGA tour card through the Symetra Tour will never forget.
The final event of the season ended in a playoff between Ally McDonald and Nicole Broch Larsen, who hit her approach on the first playoff hole to 14 feet and made birdie to win the Symetra Tour Championship.
“I was not really nervous hitting that shot and I’ve putted well today,” Broch Larsen said.
Broch Larsen, a Denmark native, earned $30,000 and moved from 69th to 20th place in the tour’s money list. In her four starts, she totaled $41,677.
With the win, Broch Larsen will be able to bypass the second stage of LPGA Q-School.
Broch Larsen spent time with seven-time LPGA winner Helen Alfredsson during the week, as the Swede shared advice with the 23-year-old.
“We’ve had a lot of good talks,” Broch Larsen said of Alfredsson. “It’s just been like all week, it’s been about hitting the shot I’m going to hit.”
The top four on the money list had already secured their LPGA cards for next season. That list included McDonald, who won the Heather Wilbur Spirit Award for perseverance and spirit, as voted on by her peers.
Two from outside of the top 10 played their way to an LPGA card; Belgium-native Laura Gonzalez Escallon shot a bogey-free 67 to finish third, which moved her from 11th to fifth on the final money list, and 18-year-old Nelly Korda, Jessica’s younger sister, shot a final-round 66 to get the job done.
“Just playing today was nerve-wrecking,” Nelly Korda said. “Just sitting around watching everyone come in is just-my heart rate is definitely high up there.”
Korda finished T-6 after shooting a 66 on Sunday. She credited help from her sister, a four-time LPGA winner, for helping her play well when it mattered the most.
“On the golf course I was just trying to stay calm,” Nelly said. “On the 13th hole I just started thinking about it and I just told myself I need to stop and just focus on the round.”
Also earning their cards were Madelene Sagstrom of Sweden, the Symetra Tour Player of the Year; Americans Jackie Stoelting, Dana Finkelstein and Marissa Steen; Wichanee Meechai and Sherman Santiwiwatthanaphong of Thailand; and Peiyun Chien of Chinese Taipei.
The top 15 outside of the final 10, excluding current LPGA members, get to bypass stage two of LPGA Q-School and advanced directly to the final stage.
Golf Channel's Chantel McCabe provided this story