GARDEN CITY, Kan. — Every round of the fifth annual Garden City Charity Classic featured a low score of 7-under par 65 and Allyssa Ferrell (Edgerton, Wisconsin) found that mark this afternoon at Buffalo Dunes Golf Course to step into the winner’s circle for the first time in her career.
The Michigan State University alumna used a bogey-free final round to finish at 16-under par overall and claim the title by two strokes.
“I don’t know if it has totally set in, just really happy with how I played,” said Ferrell. “Every given week out here, someone different can win and I am simply fortunate enough that I can be the winner here in Kansas.”
At the conclusion of play, Ferrell raised the Cecil and Francis O’Brate Memorial Trophy, named appropriately after the prominent philanthropic Garden City family with strong connections to the event including sponsors American Warrior, Inc., Palmer Manufacturing, Inc. and Samy Properties.
During her victory speech, Ferrell dedicated the win to sister Brooke, who can no longer play competitive golf and was on the bag this week in the Sunflower State. After dealing with tendonitis, torn cartilage and a pinched nerve, the former standout for the University of Wisconsin underwent four surgeries in nine months on her right arm starting last August.
On Tuesday, Brooke was cleared by doctors following her last surgery in May.
“To see her when she was kind of struggling at the beginning of the year was hard because I knew she is so much better,” said Brooke, who will soon begin working at Cherokee Country Club in Madison. “To not be able to golf, it has given Allyssa perspective, it’s given me perspective, so I feel like having us both on the course together and both perspectives collide made us very successful. Her dedicating the win definitely had me in tears.”
Ferrell has made the cut in four of the last five tournaments, recording three top-20 finishes over that span. This one in particular will replay in her memory for a long time to come.
“I kind of figured with how well I was playing that I was pretty close to the top,” Ferrell said. “I didn’t look at the scoreboard until after I putted on No. 17, just to know where I was. At the same time I didn’t want to know, but it was nice to make sure when I’m on the last hole if I need to press, or if par is my friend.”
FINKELSTEIN, PRESSEL, YOKTUAN FINISH TIED FOR SECOND
Close behind Garden City Charity Classic champion Allyssa Ferrell was a trio of players at 14-under par overall including 2016 tournament winner Dana Finkelstein (Chandler, Arizona), Madison Pressel (Boca Raton, Florida) and Pavarisa Yoktuan (Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand).
The showing for Pressel was her best on the Symetra Tour since winning the 2014 Decatur Forsyth Classic.
“Anytime you can give yourself a chance to win is awesome and it’s been quite a while, so it feels pretty good,” said Pressel, who carded a 4-under par 68 today. “Three rounds in the 60s is always good and I made more birdies this week than I had in a really, really long time. It is definitely a confidence builder going into the last four events.”
Yoktuan shot the lowest out of the group with a 5-under par 67, but all eyes were on Finkelstein down the stretch because of her history at Buffalo Dunes Golf Course. She made the turn with a two-stroke lead, but limped to a 1-over par 37 coming in.
Three bogeys over a six-hole stretch on the back nine proved too much for Finkelstein to overcome in her quest to become the tournament’s first two-time winner.
“Missed a really short one on No. 11, mud ball on 15 and then just a bad swing on 16, bogeys that cost me the tournament basically,” Finkelstein said. “Yesterday I said that 4- or 5-under par from where I started would have done it and obviously 5-under would have won. Allyssa had a hell of a day and congratulations to her. She went out there and won it.”
VOLVIK RACE FOR THE CARD STANDINGS
Following the 17th tournament of the 2018 Symetra Tour season, the Volvik Race for the Card saw a decent amount of shifting within the top-10.
The win and $22,500 winner’s check moved Allyssa Ferrell up 48 spots to No. 21, having earned $33,896 through 16 events played. Here is a look at the current top-10 heading into the Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout at Mystic Creek Golf Club in El Dorado, Ark. from Sept. 14-16:
- Dottie Ardina (Laguna, Philippines) – $74,616
- Linnea Ström (Hovas, Sweden) – $59,939
- Stephanie Meadow (Jordanstown, Northern Ireland) – $58,791
- Charlotte Thomas (Guildford, England) – $55,453
- Elizabeth Szokol (Winnetka, Illinois) – $53,878
- Jenny Haglund (Karlstad, Sweden) – $52,001
- Isi Gabsa (Munich, Germany) – $51,918
- Pavarisa Yoktuan – $49,220
- Stephanie Kono (Honolulu, Hawaii) – $47,312
- Eun Jeong Seong (Yongin, Republic of Korea) – $46,921