Katy Harris followed the directions given by her 6-year-old son Owen and fired a final-round 3-under 69 to bring home the trophy at the inaugural IOA Golf Classic.
“He (Owen) always says ‘mom, why don’t you win a trophy at a tournament because I want a trophy’,” said Harris. “I’m glad I can bring a trophy home for him.”
The Louisiana State University graduate entered Sunday’s final-round tied for the lead and never looked back as she notched five birdies and two bogeys to become the 12th different winner on the Symetra Tour this season.
“I hit the ball well all week, I putted well all week and when I hit an errant shot, I was able to get it up-and-down and make the putt,” said Harris. “There weren’t a whole lot of mistakes for me out there, I think just two bogeys maybe, I don’t know.”
Harris wasted little time getting into the red numbers on Sunday at the Innisbrook Resort – Island with a birdie at the opening hole. She then dropped a shot with a bogey at the par-5 second but that didn’t seem to faze the third year Symetra Tour member as she recorded birdies at the par-4 fifth and par-3 eighth.
Harris recorded her second and final bogey of the day at the par-3 13th then closed-out her round in style with birdies at the par-4 14th and par-5 16th to secure her first career Symetra Tour victory.
While Harris has previously won as a professional on the CN Canadian Women’s Open, the win ended a two year winless drought.
“Surreal, it feels awesome,” said Harris of the win. “It’s been two years since my last win so I knew I could do it, I knew I was good enough, I knew if I played my game, I would win and I feel that way every week. It’s another thing to get it done and have it happen and to look back on it, that’s why we play competitive golf, that’s why I practiced my short game so much. It was key this week, I putted great and when I missed the greens I got it up-and-down. All the hard work is coming together and paying off.”
A mom of two to Owen and 4-year-old Emma, Harris is a walking example for her children to never give-up on their dreams. After suffering a painful wrist injury in the SEC Championships, Harris fought back and nine-years later, reached her dreams of playing as a professional.
“They are going to be excited,” said Harris. “As far as what it means, they don’t get it and they probably take it for granted a bit as far as winning but they are proud of me. It makes me happy to be able to follow my dreams and have the support of my family and show my kids that it’s okay to pursue your dreams. Whether you win or lose go for it and do your best.”
Harris, who finished the tournament at 7-under-par, earned a 1-stroke victory over Alejandra Llaneza.