URIELL CAPTURES WIN IN PROFESSIONAL DEBUTOn the 73rd hole of the inaugural SKYiGOLF Championship, Alana Uriell (Carlsbad, California) hit her second shot from the fairway to 10 feet and proceeded to bury the eagle putt to win a sudden-death playoff against Lauren Coughlin (Charlottesville, Virginia) and Julieta Granada (Asuncion, Paraguay).
Trailing by one shot entering the final round of her professional debut, Uriell fired a 5-under par 67 this afternoon to get to 12-under overall. The rest is history.
“I’m going to remember making that eagle putt for a long time,” said Uriell. “I was definitely nervous, but really the best part was that I embraced the nerves, visualized the shot and it turned out really good. If you told me this before the week started, I wouldn’t believe you. It feels really good and it was such an honor to play in this tournament.”
The win means a lot more to Uriell than receiving a trophy in her first start as a pro. When she was 14 years old, the University of Arkansas alumna lost her mom, Barbara, to breast cancer. This victory was for the woman who raised her and there’s no doubt an angel was on Uriell’s side today.
“She was really the person that encouraged me to play golf and inspired me,” Uriell said. “Standing here today, it’s safe to say that I made her proud and that makes me really happy.”
COUGHLIN STARTS YEAR WITH OUTSTANDING EFFORTThe performance on Charlotte Harbor National Golf Club at Bobcat Trail over the final 18 resembled the same showing that Lauren Coughlin turned in to end the 2018 PHC Classic, where she picked up her first professional win.
Like today, she shot a 6-under par 66 to climb up the leaderboard, only coming out victorious last year. This time around, a birdie-par-birdie-eagle finish in the SKYiGOLF Championship final round didn’t seal the deal, but provided plenty of confidence to start the season.
“I can only be so mad that I didn’t quite pull it off and eagle it again,” Coughlin said with a smile. “She won and I don’t feel like I lost it. If I would have messed up or not had a chance to make eagle, that’s one thing. I had an opportunity and she just hit a better putt than I did.”
VOLVIK RACE FOR THE CARD STANDINGS AFTER WEEK ONEFollowing the first tournament of the 2019 Symetra Tour season, the Volvik Race for the Card welcomes its initial top-10.
Since she is a non-member of the Symetra Tour after finishing tied for 20th at the inaugural LPGA Q-Series last fall to earn Priority List Category 14 status for the 2019 LPGA Tour season, the victory and $37,500 winner’s check is unofficial money for Alana Uriell. Nonetheless, here is a look at the current top-10 heading into the 11th annual Florida’s Natural Charity Classic at the Country Club of Winter Haven in Winter Haven, Fla. from March 15-17: 1. Julieta Granada - $20,566
1. Lauren Coughlin - $20,566
3. Karen Chung (Livingston, New Jersey) - $13,451
4. Allison Emrey (Charlotte, North Carolina) - $9,898
4. Csicsi Rozsa (Budapest, Hungary) - $9,898
6. Ssu-Chia Cheng (Taipei, Chinese Taipei) - $7,508
7. Jillian Hollis (Rocky River, Ohio) - $6,603
8. Jean Reynolds (Newnan, Georgia) - $5,484
8. Demi Runas (Torrance, California) - $5,484
8. Cheyenne Knight (Aledo, Texas) - $5,484
NOTABLE QUOTESJulieta Granada (-12, T2) on anything she would change from her results:
“I hit the ball really well the last three rounds. The first round kind of got me a little bit and I wish I could do the back nine over. I probably had four or five bogeys that were three-putts, so I left a few out there and putting is something I need to keep working on. It was good to give myself a chance, birdie the last hole to get in a playoff and that helps the confidence that I’m strong enough. Overall, I’m happy.”
Alexa Pano (-7, T8) on her performance as the only amateur in the SKYiGOLF Championship:
“I’m happy with how I played. For 54 holes, I was at the top of my game and then just struggled today. Definitely don’t think any differently than I did the previous days and weeks before this event. I’d like to do this again. It was super fun and competing in this atmosphere was a really good experience.”
AJ Newell (+3, MC) on the $140 total pledge she made with SKYiGOLF to Folds of Honor:
“I’m so glad I got to start the year at the SKYiGOLF Championship. It was a fantastic event and is always great when you can play close to home. This week had a special meaning in that I was playing with Folds of Honor on my mind at all times. It was a great opportunity to give back and will always be an event I look forward to playing.”
PLAYER NOTESAlana Uriell
- Finished T20 at the inaugural LPGA Q-Series to earn Priority List Category 14 status for the 2019 LPGA Tour season
- Graduated from the University of Arkansas with one collegiate victory and 14 additional top-10 finishes
- Named a 2017 All-SEC Second Team performer and 2018 All-SEC First Team, as well as a 2018 Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) Second Team All-American
- Member of Team USA at the 2018 Arnold Palmer Cup, leading the Stars and Stripes to victory
- Made professional debut at the 2019 SKYiGOLF Championship on the Symetra Tour