Ladies European Tour member Nanna Koerstz Madsen (Copenhagen, Denmark) completed her dream season on the Symetra Tour with an emphatic third victory that will send her to the LPGA Tour on a “Battlefield Promotion” on Sunday at Brook-Lea Country Club. She fired a 6-under, 66 to break the 72-hole Symetra Tour scoring record and finished the weekend at 22-under, 266. The previous scoring mark was 19-under, set by Jennifer Song in 2010, so Koerstz Madsen is the first player in Tour history to crack 20-under.
Koerstz Madsen posted rounds of 66-67-67-66 to win by seven shots. She made 26 birdies and just four bogeys on the week. The first-place payout of $22,500 moves her from second back into the top spot on the Volvik Race for the Card money list with $85,456 earned in ten starts.
Laura Wearn (Charlotte, N.C.) finished second at 15-under, 273 with a final-round 65. Hannah Green (Perth, Australia) finished third at 14-under after a sizzling final-round 64.
“It feels really good,” said Koerstz Madsen. “It (LPGA) was the goal from the very beginning of the year and now I have it so it feels really, really nice.”
Koerstz Madsen will immediately be placed in category 13 on the LPGA Tour priority list. She is already in the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open through her Ladies European Tour membership next week and will attempt to qualify for the Ricoh Women’s British Open the following week. There are still two domestic LPGA tournaments left (Cambia Portland Classic & Indy Women in Tech Championship) along with one event in Ottawa (Canadian Pacific Women’s Open) that Koerstz Madsen will have a chance to get into based on her new LPGA status.
“I’m not sure yet what I’m going to play on the LPGA the rest of the year, maybe I’ll play those three that I can get into,” said Koerstz Madsen. “I definitely want to play at least the last event (Symetra Tour Championship, October 5-8) on the Symetra Tour.”
The 22-year-old also improves her chances to either qualify or get selected to represent Team Europe at the 2017 Solheim Cup. She would be the first active Symetra Tour player to compete in a Solheim Cup the same year. She is currently ninth on the LET Solheim Cup points standings and the top four get automatic spots so the more likely scenario would be to get be a captain’s pick by Annika Sorenstam.
“I think it’s always good to have a win and who doesn’t want to have a winner on their team,” said Koerstz Madsen when asked what her message was to Annika. “I think I have to prove that I can play well in the big tournaments and hopefully I can do that next week.”
Annika has certainly been paying attention to Koerstz Madsen’s success.
“Nanna’s level of play has really risen this year on the Symetra Tour,” said Sorenstam, when reached by email on Sunday morning. “It’s nice to see her success and I wish her luck today as she chases a battlefield promotion. I look forward to seeing her on the LPGA!”
Nearly immediately after Koerstz Madsen completed her record-setting win, Sorenstam tweeted “Congrats to @KoerstzMadsen on another impressive win at @Road2LPGA.” So the captain has her eyes on the young gun.
Koerstz Madsen entered the day with a 5-shot lead on Erynne Lee (Silverdale, Washington), who made birdie on hole one. That was as close as anyone would get. Koerstz Madsen made birdie on hole two and then chipped in for birdie on hole three to go up by seven shots. She made birdie on seven to make the turn at 19-under. The 2016 Olympian made birdie on hole ten to get to 20-under and made a flurry of birdies to end. It was only fitting that she closed out her historic win with a 20-foot birdie putt on the 18th, which was surrounded by one of the largest crowds of the season.
“The course was really scoreable, but I played really well this week,” said Koerstz Madsen. “I was very good off the tee and good on the greens too.”
Koerstz Madsen also won the Symetra Classic and the Fuccillo Kia Classic of NY.
She is the 12th player in Symetra Tour history to win three times in a single-season and is the fourth player in the last four years to accomplish the feat (Marissa Steen – 2014, Annie Park – 2015, Madelene Sagstrom – 2016).