Brittany Altomare Heading to LPGA After First Win at Guardian Retirement Championship at Sara
SARASOTA, Fla., April 24, 2016 - Brittany Altomare (Shrewsbury, Mass.) carded a 2-under 70 on Sunday and then outlasted Nicole Broch Larsen (Hillerod, Denmark) on the fifth playoff hole to win the Guardian Retirement Championship at Sara Bay. It was her first major professional win. Altomare is headed to Dallas on Monday to begin competing on the LPGA Tour. Altomare and Broch Larsen, who carded a 3-over 75, were tied after 54-holes at even-par, 216.
Sherman Santiwiwatthanaphong (Thailand) finished third at 3-over, 219 and Britney Yada (Hilo, Hawaii) finished fourth at 5-over, 221.
The playoff win nets Altomare $16,500 and more importantly gives her major confidence as she shifts focus to the LPGA.
“It is an incredible feeling,” said Altomare, who picks up her first win and 11th top 10 finish in her 47th Symetra Tour start. “I feel like I am on a high.”
Broch Larsen, who held a three shot lead entering the day and was five shots clear of Altomare, made a double-bogey on the 15th hole to open the door. Altomare, who was playing a group in front, made a 30-footer on the 15th and by the time she made par on 16 she was all square.
“Hole 15 was definitely the turnaround moment,” said the 25-year-old Altomare. “I sunk a 30-foot curler for birdie and I was just thinking two putt because these greens are crazy hard. The next thing I know, Nicole had doubled that hole and it was a huge swing.”
Both Altomare and Broch Larsen made pars on 17 and 18.
After both players made par on the first four playoff holes, Altomare stuck her approach to 4-feet above the hole on the fifth and calmly made the putt after Broch Larsen missed her long birdie attempt.
“The moment that ball went in, it was almost like a relief like ‘I did it’ finally,” said the 2013 ACC Player of the Year at Virginia. “This is my fourth year as a professional and it is exciting, it is a relief and a confidence booster.”
Altomare recovered after shooting a 4-over 76 on Saturday.
“I didn’t hit the ball well yesterday and I talked with coach, Justin Sheehan, and he gave me some things to work on and I really hit the ball great today,” explained Altomare. “It is really because of him and working on some things last night that got me this win.”
Altomare, who played in six Symetra Tour events in 2013 after she graduated and turned professional, finished T21 at the Pure-Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic and earned a shade under $14,000 to get reshuffled. She missed the cut last week at the LOTTE Championship. Altomare has played in three U.S. Women’s Open’s, but as an amateur. She expects to get into the next six LPGA events with her new status.
“This win gives me an incredible amount of confidence,” said Altomare. “I know my game is ready and I know I can do it so I am just excited.”
Altomare called the Sarasota/Bradenton area a ‘second home’ because she has spent the past two
offseasons playing out of Longboat Key Club.
“I spent the last two winters only 45-minutes away in Tampa,” said Altomare, who was heading to stay with her coach before the early flight to Dallas. “I know a few people in the area and it is like a home event.”
Altomare has known the head pro at Longboat Key Club, Terry O’Hara, since she was a junior golf. O’Hara is from Bolyston, Mass.
Altomare nearly earned her card through the Volvik Race for the Card money list in 2014 and 2015. She finished 16th and 22nd respectively.
The Symetra Tour will take a week off before heading to Greenwood, South Carolina for the Self Regional Healthcare Foundation Women’s Health Classic at The Links at Stoney Point. The players will compete for a $250,000 purse and the winner will earn $37,500, both the highest totals in the history of the Tour.
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