(Image courtesy symetratour.com, tournaments information courtesy, LPGA Tour, schedule courtesy Ohio State Athletic Dept)
Rachel Rohanna made the most of the weather-shortened Symetra Tour Championship in Daytona Beach Florida this weekend. She weathered soaking rains to win her first tournament of the year with a three round total of 203 (-13).
On the evens final hole, her closest competitor, Yu Liu needed a birdie to put more pressure on Rachel. On the reachable par-5 18th, Liu pushed her second shot right of the green into heavy green side rough. Rachel responded with a layup, then a wedge to within makeable birdie distance. It took Liu 2 shots to extricate her ball from the rough and she finished with a clutch putt for par.
When Rachel stood over her birdie putt she was in a situation that is one of the most welcome for any golfer looking to win a tournament – “she needs two putts to win”. Rachel stroked her first putt to within inches of the hole, then tapped in for her win.
Rachel opened 1st round play with an opening 35 (-1) then finished with birdies on her closing to holes for a first round 69 (-3). Her 2nd round 65 (-7) gave Rachel some breathing room. Her front nine was a well played 33 (-3) but through 6 holes on her back nine she couldn’t gain any more separation from her competitors. That changed over the next 45 minutes with a birdie-birdie-eagle finish.
The final round, played Monday, was a fun one to watch, and probably exciting to play. Paired with Liu and eventual 2nd place finisher Benyapa Niphatsophon, he round was in effect a match play contest. Entering the round with a two stroke lead over Liu, Rachel’s 69 (-3) was just enough to hold of Liu (68, -4). Congratulations, Rachel, well done.
As a side note, I was able to watch the last 45 – 60 minutes of the Championship via live stream on the Symetra Tour’s Facebook site. Ah, technology…
Well, Sunday morning’s golf was entertaining. The topography of the course exposed it to wind and there was plenty of it; winds were coming out of the SSW at 18-20 mph and gusts were a bit higher. Since this was not “conducive to scoring”, we (Ron, Lynn, myself) agreed on the first tee to have fun and make a game of “where do I align?” and “what club do I use?”. We picked our target scores of 90 and went from there.
We blundered about pretty much on our games, all coming in at or below our target scores, so, mission accomplished. We all made a handful of pars, added quite a few bogeys and labored through a few double bogeys. With the high winds, our hair was parted at several angles, as well. All in all, a good day.
The par-5 14th hole kind of exemplified the day. A good drive in center of fairway, a thinned 5-wood to 60 yards, a 60º wedge to 60″ and a 50″ birdie putt… A couple good shots, a barely playable shot and inability to close the deal. Sometimes, that’s the way it goes.
Tee-k Kelly is playing in Rio de Janeiro this weekend and I’m sure there will be more local nonsense to report on as well.