Kendall Dye shoots 64, rallies to win Symetra Tour event
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) Kendall Dye rallied to win the Four Winds Invitational on Sunday for her second Symetra Tour title, closing with a bogey-free 8-under 64 for a three-stroke victory.
Six shots behind Elizabeth Szokol entering the day, Dye had six birdies in a nine-hole stretch - the last four in a row on Nos. 8-11. She also birdied the final two holes in windy conditions at Blackthorn, holing a 25-foot putt on 17 and a 30-footer on 18 to reach 11-under 205.
''I came out here with a mission,'' Dye said. ''I had two hole-in-ones on this course and a double eagle, so what more was there to do on this golf course than win? I've been playing really good golf and it was only a matter of time. ... I had a sense of calm all day today.''
The former University of Oklahoma player earned $22,500 to jump from 36th to sixth on the money list with $30,161. The top 10 at the end of the season will earn LPGA Tour cards. Dye also won the tour's 2014 IOA Golf Classic and finished eighth on the money list that year to advance to the LPGA Tour.
''I had conditional status last year and I just wanted to focus on the Symetra Tour this year,'' Dye said. ''My best buddies are on the LPGA Tour and I know I'm capable of being in contention there, it's just a matter of me getting out of my own dang way.''
Szokol, from the Chicago suburb of Winnetka, shot a 73 to tie for second with Celine Boutier (70). Sophia Popov (71) and Benyapa Niphatsophon (71) tied for fourth at 5 under.
Dye vetoed caddie Billy Prentice's advice to lag her birdie putt on 18.
''I said, `Heck no, I'm going to make it,''' Dye said.
She had only 24 putts, making key par saves from 8 feet on 13 and 6 feet on 14.
''I've been putting well for two weeks and I actually had a 10-minute putting lesson back in April with my head pro (Chris Slattery) in Tampa at Avila,'' Dye said. ''It's an old Ping B60 putter that came straight from (LPGA Tour player) Angela Stanford's garage. ... I found this old putter and I made everything at her course that day so I told her I was stealing the putter. She can't believe I'm still using the putter, but for some reason it works for me.''
She also credited her work rating courses for Golf Digest for the strong play in the windy conditions on the difficult Blackthorn layout.
''On my off days, I've been playing some top championship golf courses,'' Dye said. ''Recently, I've played Winged Foot West and Quaker Ridge and those are really hard courses, so when I came out here - which is a hard golf course - it seems more doable. The holes seemed really big all three days.''