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On Other Tours: Christine Song wins the Guardian Retirement Championship at Sara Bay

Christine Song overcame a two-stroke deficit and outlasted a two-hole playoff to capture her third-career Symetra Tour victory at the Guardian Retirement Championship at Sara Bay. Song entered the final day trailing Isabelle Boineau but a birdie on the second playoff hole at Sara Bay Country Club secured her first trip to the winner’s circle since 2010.

The Fullerton, Calif. native grabbed ahold of the lead early on Sunday after an uncharacteristic triple-bogey by Boineau on the par-4 second.

“I was nervous,” said Boineau. “I caught it too clean, it was almost good but it was just a tad clean. It hit straight on the cart path then in the trees.”

Song, who admitted to just feeling normal prior to Sunday’s round, then separated herself further from the field after holing her second-shot from 177 yards for eagle at the par-4 fifth.

“It felt okay, I felt normal, I didn’t feel too nervous,” said Song. “I eagled five from 177 and that just started the day. I was like really into it after that.”

Song seemingly coasted through the next six holes before recording her first birdie of the day at the par-4 12th. While Song seemed to have the cruise control set to her third Symetra Tour victory, Boineau was determined not to go down without a fight.

The Marseille, France native pulled within two-strokes of Song after reeling off a string of birdies at the par-4 11th, par-4 12th and par-3 13th.

“On the back-nine I was on fire, I don’t know what happened,” said Boineau. “On the par-3 13th I made about a 12 yard putt and I was like well. I was in a state that I felt like I was reading the greens really well and had good speed on them too. I was confident.”

Song then maintained her two-stroke lead until a bogey at the par-4 15th shrunk her lead to a mere one-stroke. The duo then exchanged bogeys at the par-5 17th leaving Song with a one-stroke lead with one to play.

Boineau, a rookie on this year’s Symetra Tour, looked to have nerves of steel on the par-5 18th as she calmly knocked in the 20-foot birdie putt to pull even with Song and force the first playoff this year on the Road to the LPGA.

Both Boineau, a graduate of the University of Arizona, and Song returned to the 18th and exchanged routine pars on the par-5.

The second playoff hole would prove to be the determining factor as both Song and Boineau stripped their drives down the center of the fairway. Boineau went first on the layup to approximately114 yards while Song had 90 yards left for her approach.

Boineau was first to play her third and landed her approach 30 feet short of the pin. Song, who previously thought the wind was in her face, learned from her mistakes and calmly knocked her third shot just nine feet of the pin.

“I thought it was into the wind and apparently it wasn’t because then the third time I just hit the same club and before that I was hitting extra,” said Song. “I hit the same one and it ended up being okay.”

Boineau narrowly missed her birdie putt leaving the door open for Song which she immediately responded and drained the nine foot birdie putt for her first win this season.

Topics: On Other Tours, Symetra Tour

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