MESA, Ariz., February 22, 2015 – Hannah O’Sullivan of Chandler, Arizona became the youngest player in Symetra Tour history (16 years, 9 months, 11 days) to win a tournament by firing a 3-under 69 to capture the Gateway Classic at Longbow Golf Club with a three-day score of 15-under 201, which is a tournament record. O’Sullivan also becomes just the third woman to win on the LPGA Tour or the Symetra Tour before her 17th birthday. Lydia Ko and Lexi Thompson are the only other women to win as a 16-year-old.
[button link=”http://gogolfarizona.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/MesaCourseSummaryStatistics-Round3.pdf” bg_color=”#00386A” window=”yes”]Mesa Course Summary Statistics Round 3[/button]
[button link=”http://gogolfarizona.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/MesaTournamentSummaryStatistics.pdf” bg_color=”#00386A” window=”yes”]Mesa Tournament Summary Statistics[/button]
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O’Sullivan betters the age mark previously held by Cristie Kerr, who won the 1995 Ironwood FUTURES Classic at Ironwood Golf Course in Gainesville, Florida at the age of 17. The high school junior also becomes the first amateur to win a Symetra Tour event since 1999 when Kellee Booth won the Pacific Bell FUTURES Classic.
“This feels incredible, I can’t believe what has just happened,” said O’Sullivan, who carded 17 birdies and two bogeys over the three-day event. “To be able to represent the local area and come out with a win, I can’t even describe the feeling.”
She also broke the 54-hole tournament scoring record, which was set last year by Alena Sharp at 12-under.
“To be able to win on the Symetra Tour, at any age, means so much,” said O’Sullivan. “It gives me a big boost of confidence and I am just so thankful to be given this opportunity.”
The unflappable teenager, who entered the round with a four shot lead, seized complete control of the tournament on the front nine. She made birdies on the first, third, seventh and eighth holes to get to 16-under at the turn, seven shots up on Haley Italia.
O’Sullivan coasted to the finish line with eight pars and a bogey on the back nine.
Now, it’s back to high school on Monday.
“I was getting a lot of texts last night and I was trying to stay calm, but it is going to be fun going back to school tomorrow,” said O’Sullivan. “I have a history test tomorrow, a math quiz and an english paper due, but I can manage and this is good practice for what college will be like.”
The future is incredibly bright for O’Sullivan, who will play in the Monday Qualifier for the LPGA Founders Cup in a few weeks and also expects to the play in the Heather Farr Classic.
She made no bones about her future plans to play for USC.
“I am verbally committed to USC so Fight On,” said O’Sullivan.
Italia finished in second place at 11-under 205, but earned first place money because O’Sullivan can’t earn money due to her amateur status.
“It feels good, it was a solid weekend and I’m not complaining at all, that is for sure,” said Italia, who carded a 3-under 69 on Sunday. “I was very committed this week, my driver was good and I made some putts.”
Italia will assume the top spot on the first Volvik Race for the Card money list.
“It is phenomenal to earn first place money,” said Italia. “I was given a little bit (of money) to make this first swing and I was almost playing to keep going.”
FIRST ACE OF YEAR TO EMELIE LINDSKOG: With an 8-iron in hand, Emelie Lindskog (Halmstad, Sweden) made a hole-in-one on the 16th hole at Longbow Golf Club. It was the first ace of the Symetra Tour season. It was the third of Lindskog’s career, but first in a competitive round.
“It was really exciting,” said Lindskog, who is a Symetra Tour rookie. “I didn’t see it go in, but it felt really good and it was heading towards the pin all the way. There were people standing by the green and they said it went in.”
Lindskog shot a 2-under 70 to finish her first tournament at 1-under 215.
In 2014, she played on the Ladies European Access Tour. Her fiance moved to Florida and she felt ready for the Symetra Tour and the LPGA.
“I want to be where the best players are and there is such a big difference with this Tour,” said Lindskog. “It is very professional and the girls are very good so I’m happy to be out here.”
#1 GOAL FOR LEE TO REPRESENT BRAZIL IN THE OLYMPICS: Luciane Lee (Sao Paulo, Brazil) is one of only three professional golfers that represent Brazil. She is the only one that plays in the United States. She decided to turn professional midway through her sophomore year to focus on playing in the 2016 Olympics.
“My original goal was to play at a Division one college and I got into UC Irvine,” said Lee, after posting a 4-under 68 to finish at 6-under 210 for the tournament. “I stopped in the middle of my sophomore year to turn professional because I want a spot in the Olympics.”
Lee spent the first 11 years of her life in Sao Paulo before her family moved to the United States. The majority of her extended family still resides in Brazil.