China's Yu Liu wins first Symetra Tour title
CANADIAN LAKES, Mich. (AP) Yu Liu survived a closing bogey to win the Tullymore Classic by a stroke Sunday for her first Symetra Tour title.
The 21-year-old Chinese player closed with a 4-under 68 to finish at 16-under 200 at Tullymore Golf Resort. She earned $15,000 to jump from 10th to fifth on the money list with $42,571, with the top 10 at the end of the season earning LPGA Tour cards.
Liu was doused with water on the 18th green by fellow players Ruixin Liu, Tiffany Chan, Victoria Morgan and Mind Muangkhumsakul.
''It is amazing. The first win was really tough,'' said Liu, the third Chinese winner on the tour. ''To have my friends out there supporting me on the last hole is definitely an experience that I will remember for life.''
Liu tied for fourth last year at Tullymore after taking the lead into the final round. She tied for fifth last week in the Island Resort Championship in Harris. In 2014 in her lone college season, she helped Duke win NCAA and Atlantic Coast Conference titles.
''This definitely helps not only from the ranking standpoint, but this is a big confidence booster for me knowing that I am capable of winning out here,'' Liu said. ''I've been close a couple of times, but I haven't been able to get it done until now. Getting a win really differentiates the best players from the good players.''
Jessica Welch (67), second-round leader Lindsey Weaver (71) and Germany's Sophia Popov (67) tied for second. Denmark's Nanna Koerstz Madsen (68) was another stroke back. She leads the money list with $62,956.
Liu chipped in for birdie from the rough on No. 15.
''That was definitely one of the turning points,'' Liu said. ''Lindsey was first to hit and she knocked it close, like 10 feet. I had 174 yards to the pin and it was downwind so I used my 7-iron and I did a three-quarter shot, but I just smashed it and it went over the green and in the rough. I felt that I really needed a par save there and I didn't expect it to go in. It really helped me.''
Liu saved par on 16 after hitting her second shot in the water and made another par on 17. Weaver birdied 17 to pull within two.
On the par-5 18th, Liu hit her tee shot right and into the long fescue and took an unplayable lie. Weaver hit her third to about 15 feet, and Liu hit her fourth to 5 feet. Weaver's birdie try lipped out, and Liu two-putted for the victory.
Liu opened with a career-best 64 and shot a 68 on Saturday. She finished two strokes off the tour's 54-hole scoring record set by Vicky Hurst in 2008 in McAllen, Texas, and matched by Christine Song in 2010 in Mason, Ohio.