Erynne Lee wins FireKeepers for 2nd Symetra title of year
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) Erynne Lee won the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship on Sunday at Battle Creek Country Club for her second Symetra Tour title of the year.
Lee all but wrapped up an LPGA Tour card through the money list, closing with a 5-under 67 for a two-stroke victory over Thailand's Benyapa Niphatsophon.
Lee, the 24-year-old former UCLA player from Silverdale, Washington, finished at 12-under 204. She earned $15,000 to jump from fourth to third on the money list with $70,998. The top 10 after the final seven events will earn LPGA Tour cards.
''This is a really great cushion, but I'm obviously not going to let my guard down,'' Lee said. ''We have seven events left and anything could happen. Anyone could have a good week and a good stretch so I just want to keep this momentum going.''
Lee won a playoff three weeks ago in the Donald Ross Centennial Classic in French Lick, Indiana. She won the tour's IOA Championship last year.
After making $2,940 in her first season events, Lee has five top-10 finishes and has earned $68,058 in her last eight tournaments.
''My performance has been at an all-time high the last eight weeks,'' Lee said. ''The consistency at which I'm playing right now is really, really exciting and that is what is keeping me going.''
Niphatsophon, two strokes ahead of Lee and France's Celine Boutier entering the final round, had a 71. She made $9,681 and is second on the money list with $81,619.
Mia Piccio of the Philippines was third at 7 under after a 71.
Boutier had a 73 to tie for fourth at 6 under with Katelyn Dambaugh (70), Lindsey Weaver (72) and Thailand's Pannarat Thanapolboonyaras (65). Boutier dropped from third to fourth on the money, earning $4,153 to push her total to $64,894.
Denmark's Nanna Koerstz Madsen tops the money list with $85,456 and earned an immediate LPGA Tour promotion last week with her third Symetra Tour victory of the season. She played the Ladies Scottish Open this week through her Ladies European Tour membership.