Aug 04, 2014 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
In five years and more than 40 attempts, Veronica Silibert had never tasted victory on the Symetra Tour.
But all of that changed in the Credit Union Classic at Drumlins Country Club’s East Course, where Silibert moved into contention right from the start and then saved her best golf for the closing stretch to earn a three-stroke victory, $15,000 and better odds to reach the LPGA Tour in 2015.
The 29-year-old Venezuela native made her first Symetra Tour Victory a spectacular one, but the outcome was not clear until late in Sunday’s final round, when Filibert birdied 15, 17 and 18 to break things open.
With four holes to play, Filibert, three under par for the day and nine under par overall, was tied with American Garrett Phillips, playing one group in front of her.
On the tough uphill par-four 15th, Filibert struck an approach close and made birdie, but at the downhill par-three 16th, Phillips answered with a birdie of her own, and both stood at 10 under.
Moving to the short par-four 17th, Phillips made par. Then Filibert hit an approach far from the pin, but her long birdie putt found the cup, and she reclaimed the lead, this time for good.
Knowing that she needed to answer again, Phillips instead made a double bogey on the final hole, leaving her at 205, eight under par, in a tie for third with Numa Gulyanamitta and Calle Nielson.
Now it was Lindy Duncan sitting as the leader in the clubhouse. Following rounds of 70 and 68, Duncan, a Duke University graduate, put up a bogey-free, five-under-par 66 in the final round, and posted nine-under-par 204.
At 11 under following her clutch birdie on 17, Filibert simply needed a bogey five on the 18th hole to win. But she fared far better, driving straight in the middle of the fairway and hitting a nine-iron approach to three feet for a closing birdie to clinch it.
So ended a weekend where Filibert was always in the picture. She didn’t make a bogey in her opening-round 67 on Friday, which left her two shots behind Ellen-Davies Graham, who backtracked from her strong start and, at 209, eventually tied for 13th.
During the second round on Saturday, Filibert made just two birdies, but an eagle on the par-five 13th hole keyed a two-under-par 69 that left her, at 136, tied for first with Rachel Rohanna with 18 holes to play. Four others, including Phillps and Nelson, were one shot back.
Teeing off on Sunday morning to beat a forecast of rain later in the day, Felibert birdied both of the opening par-five holes to surge to eight under. After a bogey at 4, she bounced back with birdies at 5 and 8 to move to nine under following a front-nine 33.
Meanwhile, Phillips had a slower start, with two bogeys and three birdies in her first six holes and turning in 35, leaving her at six under. Then, starting at the par-three 12th, Phillips made three straight birdies to catch Filibert, who had birdied 11, but bogeyed 12 to fall back to nine under.
But it was Filibert who made the last – and most important – surge.
Rohanna was one shot back with four holes left, but bogeys on 15 and 17 left her, at 207, tied for sixth with Laura Gonzalez Escallon and Lili Alvarez. Four others – Laura Wearn, Samantha Richdale, Kendall Dye and Natalie Sheary – tied for ninth at 208. Cheyenne Woods, niece of Tiger Woods, made the cut on the number and shot a final-round 68 to finish at 213, in a tie for 30th place.
With the win, Filibert moved from 42nd to 11th on the Symetra Tour money list, improving her chances for a promotion. The top-10 money winners at season’s end gain their LPGA Tour cards. Duncan went from 29th to 16th on the money list with her runner-up finish.
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