ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA, May 18, 2014 – Marissa Steen birdied four holes in a five hole stretch on the back nine to pull away from the competition and capture the Friends of Mission Charity Classic Presented by Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort on Sunday afternoon at the Country Club of Asheville.
“I’m on cloud nine,” Steen said after her round. “Just to see all of the hard work pay off because my motto has always been hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. I’ve always kind of been the underdog. I wasn’t the most highly ranked college player or amateur player but I’ve always worked my butt off. All of the sacrifice my family has made, my swing coach, the whole support system around me has been unreal and I couldn’t do anything without them.”
Steen finished her day at 3-under-par 69, for a three round total of 208 (-8) to claim a four-shot victory over Wei-Ling Hsu. The victory marks the second Symetra Tour win of the season for the Memphis graduate and moves Steen into first place on the Volvik Race for the Card money list at $50,467.
“It’s huge,” Steen said of moving to No. 1 on the money list. “I was joking before that money talks, but it does and that’s what it’s about at the end of the day out here as much as we don’t want it to be it is so to get two wins and a couple of more top-10s on top of it has been huge.”
Steen made the turn in even par 36 but was a birdie machine on the back nine. Steen started her run by stuffing an approach shot on the par-4 13th and followed that up with another dart to seven feet at 14. The flatstick gave Steen birdies on 15 and 17 as she dropped putts from 30 and 25 feet respectively before ending her day with a bogey at the last.
“I was joking on the last hole that I can just lag it up there and not four putt,” Steen said.
“On 13 I hit it close, put it to four feet and made it. On 14 I hit it to seven feet and made it. On 15 I made a 30-footer and on 17 I made a 25-footer.”
Steen celebrated the victory with her mom who was unable to be in Sarasota for sher first victory of the season.
“It is so special especially since my mom is here,” Steen said. “She wasn’t there in Sarasota when I won so having her here is awesome. For everything that her and my dad have done for me, it feels good that she can finally enjoy a win with me.”
While Steen will not be competing next week in Charlotte she has a busy week ahead as she will attempt to qualify for the U.S. Open in Houston on Tuesday and then take some time off back in her home state of Ohio.
“One of my good friends is getting married back home next weekend so I’m going to enjoy that and celebrate with everybody back there because I haven’t been back home in six weeks.”
Casey Grice (-3) finished solo third while Laura Gonzalez Escallon and Jackie Stoelting finished tied for fourth at two-under.