The Epson Tour closes the 2022 season this week with the Epson Tour Championship at LPGA International, Jones Course. The 72-hole event begins on Thursday, October 6, with the final round scheduled for Sunday, October 9.
The field of 108 players from the United States and around the globe will compete for a $250,000 total purse and a $37,500 winner's payout.
Final Push for LPGA Tour Cards
This week boasts 34 of the top 37 players in the Ascensus Race for the Card standings as they prepare for the year's final event. No. 1 Xiaowen Yin, No. 2 Lucy Li, and No. 3 Linnea Strom are a lock and have secured their LPGA Tour cards for 2022. While there are no guarantees, players No. 4 Grace Kim and No. 5 Celine Borge are in a great position to earn their card, and the top 37 players on the current money list have a mathematical chance at an LPGA Tour card this week. If Katelyn Sisk, who ranks 37th in the Ascensus Race for the Card standings with $38,104 in earnings, wins the event, her total earnings would jump to $75,604, which is more than current No. 10 Alexa Pano, who has earned $75,278 (looking at if they were to make no additional money this week).
Thammaraks Back to Defend
Last October, Prima Thammaraks went 22-under to win the Epson Tour Championship and walked away with her first trophy on the Epson Tour. Entering the final round in second and one shot behind 54-hole leader Daniela Iacobelli, Thammaraks posted a 7-under 65, cruising to victory. The Thailand native smashed the 72-hole record for the event by three strokes set by Riuxin Lin in 2018.
A Second Chance
A look at Daytona Beach’s leaderboard from 2021 shows Prima Thammaraks winning by two-stroke for her first Epson Tour victory. Two players who finished in the top-10 behind Thammaraks at last year’s event return to the field again this year. Daniela Iacobelli, who finished T5 in 2021 and is no stranger to the winner’s circle in Daytona Beach, is looking to pick up win number two this season. Another win would move Iacobelli into the top 10 and another shot on the LPGA Tour. Michaela Finn also finished inside the top-10 last season and is ready for her win number one.
Epson Tour Player of the Year Race
The player earning the most money at the season's end is honored as the Epson Player of the Year. Although No. 1 Xiaowen Yin is in the driver's seat with $117,443 in earnings, the award is still up for grabs.
With Lucy Li sitting this event out and a win by Linnea Strom, fans could see a change at the top with Strom taking home Epson Player of the Year honors even if Yin finishes second.
If Yin misses the cut and doesn't earn money, Grace Kim, No. 4 on the money list with $89,720, Celine Borge No. 5 with 87,546, Gabriella Then No. 6 with 85,416, Gina Kim No. 7 with $80,484, and Kiira Riihijarvi No. 8 with $80,208 must win the event to take over the top spot held currently by Yin.
Gaelle Truet Rookie of the Year Race
The Gaelle Truet Rookie of the Year award is given to the Epson Tour rookie that earns the most money.
Xiaowen Yin has had a solid hold on the top spot in the rookie race for the better part of 2022 and is currently one of four rookies that sit inside the top 10 of the Ascensus Race for the Card standings at No. 1. Grace Kim is presently second amongst rookies with $89,720, Gina Kim third with $80,484 and Alexa Pano fourth with $75,275. They will need to win this week for a chance to jump Yin in the standings.
The award is named after Gaelle Truet, who played on the Duramed FUTURES Tour from 2004-2006 before she died tragically in a car accident.