July 24, 2016

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) Belgium's Laura Gonzalez Escallon won the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship on Sunday for her first Symetra Tour title when rain washed out at the final round.

Play began on time Sunday at 7:30 a.m., but was halted at 9:25 a.m. Rain and lightning continued through the early afternoon and play didn't resume.

The 25-year-old Gonzalez matched the Symetra Tour's 36-hole scoring record of 15-under 129 at Battle Creek Country Club, shooting a 65 on Friday and a course-record 64 on Saturday to open a six-stroke lead over Ally McDonald.

''It feels awesome, but it hasn't sunk in yet because I was just trying to focus on my round,'' said Gonzalez Escallon, who was at her host family's house off the seventh hole when she got the news. ''When I got the email, I called my mom and told her the good news because she has been waiting and it is late at home in Belgium. I'm really happy about the win.''

Gonzalez Escallon earned $15,000 and a spot in The Evian Championship in September.

''It's amazing to get to go to Evian, it will be my first ever LPGA event and it is a major,'' the former Purdue player said. ''I also get to go home so that is a good thing. I was trying to find an excuse to go home and now I have one. I will go to Evian and then enjoy a week off at home and then fly back to finish the Symetra Tour season.''

Gonzalez Escallon jumped from 38th to 16th on the money list with $31,053. The top 10 at the end of the season will earn LPGA Tour cards.

''My dream is to play on the LPGA so it would be great to get into the top 10 instead of going through Q-School, which is a really tough week,'' Gonzalez Escallon said. ''If I can play good golf the rest of year, it would help going to the LPGA knowing I can play consistently.''

McDonald also earned a spot in The Evian. She birdied her final hole Saturday for a 66.

McDonald is second on the money list with $71,728. Madelene Sagstrom leads with $123,678.

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