Former Blue Devil Yu Liu collects first Symetra victory
Posted July 2
Former Duke women’s golf standout Yu Liu chipped in for birdie on hole 15 and held on tight for her first Symetra Tour win at the Tullymore Classic on Sunday. Liu is just the third player from China to win on the Symetra Tour joining Yueer Cindy Feng (2014) and Hong Mei Yang (2004).
Liu, who helped lead Duke to the 2014 National Championship, carded a four-under-par, 68, Sunday to come from two shots off the lead to narrowly edge Sophia Popov, Lindsey Weaver and Jessica Welch, who tied for second.
“It is amazing, the first win was really tough,” commented Liu. “To have my friends out there supporting me on the last hole is definitely an experience that I will remember for a life.”
Over the three days, Liu fired rounds of 64, 68 and 68 to finish 16-under-par, 200, and earned a $15,000 check. She moved from 10th on the Volvik Race for the Card money list to No. 5 with $42,571 earned in 12 starts.
Liu opened red hot with birdies at holes one and two to quickly move into a share of the lead. She moved into the lead with birdies on No. 6 and No. 8. Following four pars on the back nine, the turning point came on hole 15 when Liu chipped in for birdie from the rough.
“That was definitely one of the turning points,” said Liu. “Lindsey was first to hit and she knocked it close, like ten feet. I had 174 yards to the pin and it was downwind so I used my 7-iron and I did a three-quarter shot, but I just smashed it and it went over the green and in the rough. I felt that I really needed a par save there and I didn’t expect it to go in. It really helped me.”
After the chip in, Liu went to 17-under, while Weaver remained at 14-under with three holes remaining. Liu saved par on 16 after hitting her second shot in the water and then made another par on No. 17. Liu tapped in for bogey on No. 18 to win by one stroke.
She finished the week with 22 birdies and collected her first professional victory since turning pro. Liu had won two China LPGA events as an amateur. She was the 2013-14 ACC Freshman of the Year and turned professional following her rookie campaign.