A 3-Way Sunday Shootout for the Symetra Tour’s Biggest Purse


Mar 21, 2015; PHOENIX, AZ, USA; Dori Carter hits her second from the desert area on the 9th hole during round two of the JTBC Founders Cup at Wildfire Golf Club at JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa. Carter finished her second round Saturday morning after darkness suspended play on Friday. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday is going to produce some spectacular golf at the Symetra Tour’s Women’s Health Classic at The Links at Stoney Point in Greenwood, SC.  By end end of Saturday’s 3rd round the field had separated itself and Alejandra Llaneza, Casey Grice and Jimin Kang are likely to play out a classic Sunday Shootout for the winner’s share of $200,000, the biggest purse on the Symetra Tour, and a 2016 Tour card.

More from Pro Golf Now

It’s been a 3-way battle for the top of the leaderboard almost from the start of the 2nd round of Women’s Health Classic, although Lacey Agnew made a hot start on Thursday after a phone call to Hall of Famer Nancy Lopez, her mentor and friend.

Lopez knows the Links at Stoney Point track well.  She’s been playing it now for a couple of years as she’s helped local tournament organizers put together the biggest tournament and, not coincidentally, the biggest party on the Symetra Tour.  Lopez told Agnew to stay aggressive and go for the pins in order to minimize her time on Stoney Point’s tricky greens.

More from Golf News

Agnew followed that advice and started the 2nd round at 4-under par and in a six-way tie for the top of the board.  But she couldn’t sustain the pace she’d set and a 3rd round 6-over par scorecard cluttered with bogeys sent her plummeting down the board.  It also opened the door for Llaneza, Grice and Kang, who’d been lurking since the middle of the 2nd round.

Alejandra Llaneza, who notched her first top-10 finish last week at the Guardian Retirement Championship at Sara Bay, has gotten progressively comfortable with the Stoney Point track.  She carded an opening round 1-under 71 and followed that up with a 68 and a 69.  She eagled the 16th and 18th holes in her 2nd round although she was still struggling with the devilish par-3 17th in her 3rd round, which has twice put a bogey on her cards.

Llaneza made her way around the track in good order on Saturday, hitting 13 of 14 fairways off the tee and needing only 26 putts to complete her round.  She’ll go into Sunday’s final round with a 2 shot lead over Grice and Kang and poised to be the first Mexican to win a Symetra Tour event since 2007.

However, Llaneza will have to stay ahead of Casey Grice and Jimin Kang if she wants to notch this win.  Grice, like Llaneza, has gotten control of the Stoney Point track and Kang, with 2 LPGA victories — the 2005 LPGA Corning Classic and the 2010 Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia — and 14 career top-10 finishes on the LPGA Tour, could be writing the Come-Back story of the year if she can grab on to and hold the top of the board on Sunday.

You can follow the action live on the Symetra Tour leaderboard and I’ll provide a wrap-up on the event in my Golf News On and Around the Links weekly column.

Next: Why the 17th Hole at TPC Sawgrass is So Hard