Stephanie Meadow leads in Texas in race to keep LPGA Tour card
At the Symetra Tour finale, Leona Maguire is well placed to secure her full LPGA Tour card
Stephanie Meadow hits her approach shot on the 18th hole during the second round of the Volunteers of America Classic golf tournament at the Old American Golf Club in The Colony, Texas. Photo: Chuck Burton/Getty Images
Stephanie Meadow’s last-ditch fight to retain her LPGA Tour card has brought out the best in her: the 27-year-old Northern Irishwoman followed up her opening round 63 with a stubborn level-par 71 in the second round of the Volunteers of America Classic at The Colony in Texas to reach the midpoint on eight-under-par 134 and very much on course to achieve her objective in what is the last regular-season tournament on the main tour stateside.
Meadow, 112th in the order of merit and needing a top-10 finish to leapfrog inside the leading 100 players who retain full status, was exemplary off the tee in finding 13 of 13 fairways but less accurate in her approach to the greens in a round of three bogeys and three birdies that saw her assume the early clubhouse lead with half the field still to complete their second rounds.
After completing her second round to ensure she remained in contention heading into the weekend, Meadow – in a final bid to turn her season around – remarked: “I’m not going to lie, it has not been easy (this season). But I’ve got nothing to lose. I knew (coming in) I was playing well and I thought I could make something happen so far so good.”
Meadow, in her fifth year as a professional, graduated off the Symetra Tour last season but has found it difficult so far this season so far. She has left the best until last, it would seem: “I know I can win. I did it on the Symetra Tour and I did it in Ireland (at the ISPS Handa World Challenge in Galgorm Castle) a few weeks ago. I know I can handle myself. This might be a bigger stage but I know I can still do it, it is the same concept,” said Meadow, who held a one stroke lead over Americans Jaye Marie Green and Kath Perry to claim the clubhouse lead.
“I’ve come through a lot and this is not exactly where I wanted to be on my fifth year on tour. But you know what? I’m here. I’m doing it . . . I’m going to fight my butt off to be back here (on the LPGA next season) and not just be back but winning tournaments . . . that’s what I want,” said Meadow, who has put herself into a strong position to tick a number of boxes heading into the weekend.
In Florida, playing on the Symetra Tour which is the pathway to the LPGA circuit, Co Cavan’s Leona Maguire took another important step towards securing her LPGA Tour for next season when she shot a second round 70 for a midway total of five-under-par 139 in the season-ending Symetra Tour Championship at Daytona Beach.
Maguire, in fifth position in the Syemtra Tour rankings heading into the season’s finale with the leading 10 players getting full LPGA Tour cards for next season, had five birdies and three bogeys in her second round to ensure her survival into the weekend and keep destiny in her own hands.