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Great Weekend for Vidalia Golf Fans
Monday, 24 September 2012

Thidapa Suwannapura Survives Two Hole Playoff For First Symetra Tour Victory (by Ali Kicklighter)

On a day where only six players were under par, Thidapa Suwannapura withstood a two hole playoff to earn her first Symetra Tour victory at the Vidalia Championship.

Suwannapura and Paola Moreno both stood at 7-under par after regulation play after Suwannapura fired a final round 2-under par 70 and Moreno shot a 3-under par 69.

ImageSuwannapura began the day tied atop the leaderboard with Sara-Maude Juneau and Mesha Levister. In the midst of gusty winds of up to 15 mph, Suwannapura got off to a shaky start on Sunday with a bogey at the par-3 first. The Bangkok, Thailand native rebounded quickly with a birdie at the par-5 fourth to return back to even-par for the day. It wasn’t until a string of seven consecutive pars that Suwannapura made her second birdie of the day at the par-3 12th.

Moreno, who began the day trailing the trio of leaders by one-stroke, entered the par-4 16th 2-under par for the day until a birdie moved her to 3-under and gave her the outright lead. The lead would be short lived as she took an unfortunate bogey at the par-3 17th to move back to even for the day and tied with Suwannapura.

In the group behind Moreno, Suwannapura was starting to make a run as she birdied the par-3 17th to regain a one-stroke lead. Moreno immediately responded with a birdie on the par-4 18th and Suwannapura pared to force the third playoff this season.

“I only saw Moreno made birdie so I knew I had to make birdies to keep it up,” I just tried, tried and tried and finally I made it on 17.”

On the first playoff hole, both players stripped their drives in the fairway. Moreno’s second shot came up just short of the green while Suwannapura’s ended up on the green approximately 40-feet from the hole. Moreno failed to get up-and-down and Suwannapura three-putted to continue the playoff.

“I was really nervous on the second putt on the first playoff,” Suwannapura said. “But I don’t know why it missed.”

On the second playoff hole, both players once again found the fairway and Moreno, who was first to play, hit it to within 15-feet of the hole. Suwannapura immediately responded with an impressive second shot that landed around 20-feet from the hole.

Suwannapura didn’t let the pressure bother her as she calmly knocked in her birdie putt forcing Moreno to make her putt to extend the playoff. Moreno couldn’t convert her putt and Suwannapura captured her first career Symetra Tour victory.

Overwhelmed with emotion after her win, the victory was even sweeter for Suwannapura whose dad celebrated his 60th birthday yesterday in Thailand.

A rookie on this year Symetra and LPGA Tours, Suwannapura has had quite the season. In only 11 events, she has posted five top-10 finishes including tied for second at the Credit Union Classic.

The win could not have come at a more crucial time for Suwannapura who entered the week at No. 15 on the Volvik Race for the Card standings. The win catapulted her up the money list to fourth with only one tournament remaining at next week’s Daytona Beach Invitational Presented by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

"Volvik Race For the Card" Continues At The Vidalia Championship

The Symetra Tour’s annual "Volvik Race For the Card" continued with the conclusion of the Vidalia Championship.This season marks the first time in history the Road to the LPGA will award the top-10 players in the Volvik Race for the Card 10 cards with equal, exempt status on the LPGA Tour for the 2013 season. With seven days left until the lives of those 10 players are changed forever, symetratour.com will highlight an aspect of the season-long competition as the Race enters the last leg.

For this time in 12 weeks, the Volvik Race for the Card has a new player atop the standings. After her runner-up finish at the Vidalia Championship, Paola Moreno overtook Esther Choe as No. 1 in the standings.

“I’m really excited, that was the goal for the last three events of the year was just try to make as much money as possible to win the first place,” said Moreno. “There’s one tournament left and a lot of money of the line but I’m pretty confident that I can hopefully get a good week and finish strong.”

After her victory at the Eagle Classic, Moreno moved into the No. 2 spot but a missed cut at the Symetra Classic moved back into third. With only one event left this year, Moreno has the chance to join an elite group of Player of the Year winners including Lorena Ochoa, Kathleen Ekey, Cindy LaCrosse, Mina Harigae, Vicky Hurst, Stacy Prammanasudh and Grace Park.

Along with Moreno, other players making significant moves this week were Thidapa Suwannapura who after her win, moved from No 15 to No. 4; Sara-Maude Juneau also jumped into the top-10 from No. 17 to No. 10.

2013 LPGA Tour Cards will be awarded at the conclusion of the Daytona Beach Invitational on September 30th. See what players will earn their cards and who will be competing on the LPGA next year. The entire Volvik Race for the Card ceremony will air on Monday, October 1st at 2pm ET on www.ustream.tv/lpga

Jean Chua Wins PeakVision Sunglasses for Final Round Low Score
For her final-round low score of 3-under par 69, Jean Chua of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia was awarded a pair of PeakVision patented Dual-Zone lens sunglasses designed specifically for golfers. The "Official Sunglasses of the Symetra Tour," PeakVision will provide sunglasses for the season-long promotion Sunday Low Round award. Chua’s round moved her from tied for 37th into tied for 10th.

 

 
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