Kendall Dye wins IOA Golf Classic, her first Symetra Tour title
LONGWOOD, Fla. — Kendall Dye won the rain-delayed IOA Golf Classic on Monday for her first Symetra Tour title, matching the course record with a 6-under-par 65 for a three-stroke victory.
The 26-year-old former Oklahoma player was 6 under on the first seven holes on the back nine. She birdied Nos. 10, 12, 13 and 15 and holed out from 75 yards for eagle on the par-5 16th.
"It was just some back nine. It was crazy," Dye said. "I had nine putts on the backside and holed out. . . . It was pretty cool to finish strong."
On No. 16, she played a half-shot with a 55-degree wedge that went in on the first bounce.
"It was just my day," Dye said. "These days where golf comes easy, I can’t take them for granted because there’s so many other days where golf is the most difficult thing ever."
Dye, from Edmond, Okla., finished at 11-under 202 at Alaqua Country Club and earned $15,000 to jump from 14th to second on the money list with $19,952 in four events. The top 10 at the end of the 19-tournament season will earn 2015 LPGA Tour cards.
"It definitely takes the pressure off for the rest of the year," Dye said. "My mission, of course, every year is to come away with a card. I’ve been to Q-school too many times."
Making her 56th start on the tour, Dye parred the final two holes and was doused with water on the 18th green by fellow players Mallory Blackwelder, Sara Brown and Calle Nielson.
"I had good feelings and positive thoughts going into today, but I was three shots back and I wore white, not thinking that I was going to get doused with water on the last hole," Dye said. "So, lesson learned there."
Hannah Yun, the second-round leader after a 65, closed with a 71 to finish second. Katelyn Sepmoree was third at 6 under after a 72, and Reilley Rankin had a 70 to finish at 5 under.
Cindy Yueer Feng, the winner last week in the Florida’s Natural Charity Classic, tied for fifth at 4 under after a 69. She earned $3,500 to push her tour-leading total to $25,984.