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Denmark’s Nicole Broch Larsen wins Symetra Tour finale

Larsen beat Ally McDonald with a 14-foot birdie putt on the par-3 18th on the first extra hole at Alaqua Country Club.

By: AP | Longwood (florida) |
October 17, 2016 1:51:55 pm
larsen, golf, Symetra Tour Championship, lpga tour, golf news, sports news Larsen was the Ladies European Tour’s 2015 player of the year and is ranked 87th in the world. (Source: Reuters)

Denmark’s Nicole Broch Larsen won the season-ending Symetra Tour Championship in a playoff Sunday and 10 players earned LPGA Tour cards.

Larsen beat Ally McDonald with a 14-foot birdie putt on the par-3 18th on the first extra hole at Alaqua Country Club. Both players shot 4-under 67 to finish at 18-under 266, one off the tour record of 19 under set by Jennifer Song in the 2010 Tate & Lyle Players Championship in Decatur, Illinois.

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

The event was moved from LPGA International in Daytona Beach to Alaqua on Saturday because of Hurricane Matthew. The tour was scheduled to play the IOA Golf Classic last week at Alaqua, but that event was canceled because of the hurricane.

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Larsen earned $30,000 to jump from 69th to 20th on the money list with a four-event total of $41,677, enough to get a spot in the final stage of LPGA Tour Q-school. She was the Ladies European Tour’s 2015 player of the year and is ranked 87th in the world.

Broch Larsen stayed at seven-time LPGA Tour winner Helen Alfredsson’s house this week.

“She has been really good and really nice to me,” Broch Larsen said. “We’ve had a lot of talks about what to do on course and she actually watched me win in Sweden.”

McDonald made $19,234 to finish second on the money list with $110,359. She finished second four times this season and was third twice.

“This was a big step for me in my career,” McDonald said. “The LPGA is where we are all striving to be, so I am just really excited to be moving up and hopefully I can play some solid golf out there.”

Belgium’s Laura Gonzalez Escallon was third at 13 under after a 67. She jumped from 11th to fifth on the money list with $77,997.

“I’m excited,” Gonzalez Escallon said. “I gave it my all this week.”

Sweden’s Madelene Sagstrom, the runaway money champion with a tour-record $167,064, had a 64 to finish fourth at 7 under. She led the tour with three victories and had 11 top-10 finishes in 15 events.

“I’ve learned so much about myself and my game during my first season on the Symetra Tour,” Sagstrom said. “I’m super excited to bring it onto the next level against the best players in the world. It is going to be a dream come true to play on the LPGA.”

Jackie Stoelting was third on the money list with $97,886, and Wichanee Meechai fourth at $86,217. Sherman Santiwiwatthanaphong was sixth at $77,555, followed by Dana Finkelstein ($76,314), Marissa Steen ($72,496), Nelly Korda ($70,129) and Peiyun Chien ($67,577). Chien edged No. 11 Clariss Guce by $1,104 and No. 12 Erica Popson by $1,191.

Korda, the 18-year-old sister of LPGA Tour winner Jessica Korda and daughter of former tennis star Petr Korda, jumped from 12th to ninth on the money list.

“It was truthfully everything I dreamed of,” Korda said. “I was very emotional today. Probably more nervous on my 3-footer on the last hole than the 4-footer that I had to win in Sioux Falls. I was like, `Calm down, calm down.”’

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