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Symetra playoff ends with eagle; '15 LPGA cards awarded

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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)