Despite an opening bogey, by the end of the day, Team All In extended that advantage to six strokes and posted a runaway win at -27 in the LPGA Tour’s first official team event.
“I couldn't ask for a better partner at all,” said Jasmine, who earned her second career victory. “Everything just went maybe a little bit slow on the front nine, I feel a little bit of pressure. But, I mean, we started to make some birdies and then keep the game going. It's amazing today.”
Jasmine and Clanton carded an 11-under 59 in Saturday’s final four-ball round. They closed their opening nine with five consecutive birdies and then closed with six straight to wrap up their win on Midland Country Club’s island green at No. 18.
“I pride myself on my ball striking and my ability to hit good tee balls and good iron shots, so I knew that I could contribute that way,” said Clanton, who became a Rolex First-Time Winner. “I was very comfortable in that, and I know a lot of players aren't as comfortable in alternate shot. But to have the opportunity to come and play, for Jasmine to take me along for the ride was great, and to play like we did was awesome.”
The duo went by Team All In this week, a phrase Clanton took from her time at Auburn University and its family setting. Those words were particularly special to the team at title sponsor Dow, as Karen S. Carter, the company’s Chief Inclusion and Human Resources Officer, uses the phrase to define her vision for the company’s team attitude.
Minjee Lee and Jin Young Ko shot a spectacular 12-under 58 in their final round to finish second at -21. They combined for 16 birdies, with Lee shooting an 8-under 62 on her own ball.
“I think we totally came into this week to have fun,” said Lee. “We just wanted to have confidence and just play as well as we can and try and make as many birdies as we can. So it was definitely a fun week.”
Ariya Jutanugarn and Moriya Jutanugarn tied for third with Jenny Shin and Na Yeon Choi at -20, while Brooke Henderson and Alena Sharp rounded out the top five at -19.
CLANTON AND SUWANNAPURA – TWO TRUE #DRIVEON STORIES
Cydney Clanton competed in the 2018 LPGA Q-Series in hopes of bettering her LPGA status for 2019. After missing the top 45 there, Clanton received a late entry into the Blue Bay LPGA. She jetted from North Carolina to the People’s Republic of China in hopes of pulling into the top 100 on the final LPGA Money List. Instead, she came up a heart-breaking $8 short of a full card for the 2019 season.
Clanton has played 2019 primarily on the Symetra Tour, where she earned a win at the Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout. Now an LPGA Tour winner, Clanton will jump up the LPGA Priority List from 179th to 92nd and is assured of full Tour status for the next two years. She also has the fun task of quickly booking international travel, as Clanton is now exempt into next week’s Evian Championship in France and the following week’s AIG Women’s British Open in England.
“This is 100% a God plan,” said Clanton. “I couldn't even dream up to have won a Symetra event earlier this year and then to come out and win with Jasmine. It's so funny, this is the tournament that I wanted to come and play in. I was like, team event, I'm in, let's go. So I'm blessed for the opportunity, I'm blessed that Jasmine came and let me come play with her.”
Three years ago, Jasmine Suwannapura didn’t know if she would ever walk again, let alone play golf. While taking a practice swing at the 2016 Kingsmill Championship, Jasmine broke her back and was sidelined for six months. After surgery, months of rehab and totally rebuilding her swing, Jasmine saw her hard work and patience pay off when she captured her first LPGA win at the 2018 Marathon Classic. A year later, she has added a second win to that tally and joined Ariya Jutanugarn as the only Thai players with multiple Tour victories.
“I think this is like earlier than I thought I would have this,” said Jasmine. “I've been working hard with my game and every week is getting better with my irons and everything.”
LEE AND KO GO LOW TO CAP OFF “FUN DAY”
Minjee Lee and Jin Young Ko finished the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational just short of the top in solo second at-21 after recording a four-ball final-round 58, the lowest round of the tournament. As much as they took the tournament seriously, Lee said it was one of the most fun times they have had this year.
“I think definitely we both played better than we did the last time we played four balls. We just had a better rhythm out there. I think we just fed off each other,” said Lee. “Jin Young had so many birdies today, so I just tried to keep up pretty much. We just had a great day out there.”
The duo put together a bogey-free round, posting 12 birdies on the day. Ko said she was proud of their score and hopes to build off this momentum into the Evian Championship and AIG Women’s British Open. But Ko said she is already thinking of the next year in Midland.
“My first time hit in the 60s, in a foursome, really great playing with Minjee. We had a really great time. I want to play next year with Minjee,” said Ko.
The second and final reshuffle of the 2019 LPGA Tour season will happen on Monday following the conclusion of the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational.
Category 8 on the LPGA Priority List comprises members in the Top 80 of the current year’s Money List with priority based on the order of the list. In addition, Members in Categories 13 through 19 who have earned official money will be re-seeded into Category 13 and ranked in the order of their position on the current year's Money List through the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational.
A link to the current LPGA Priority List: http://bit.ly/Priority19
Rolex Rankings No. 106 Jasmine Suwannapura and No. 268 Cydney Clanton (67-64-63-59)
CME GROUP CARES CHALLENGE – SCORE 1 FOR ST. JUDE
The CME Group Cares Challenge is a season-long charitable giving program that turns aces into donations. CME Group will donate $20,000 for each hole-in-one made on the LPGA Tour in 2019, with a minimum guaranteed donation of $500,000 to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, which is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
There were no aces made at this week’s Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational. There have been 18 aces recorded this season and a total of $360,000 raised thus far.
LEADERS TOP 10 COMPETITION
The LEADERS Top 10 competition awards a $100,000 bonus to the LPGA player with the most top-10 finishes through the completion of the event held immediately prior to the CME Group Tour Championship. In the event of a tie in total top-10 finishes, the award will go to the player with the most official wins, followed by most second-place finishes, third-place finishes, etc., until the tie is broken.
Brooke Henderson finished in fifth and Hyo Joo Kim finished T6 at the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational to move up into a tie for first with Danielle Kang and Nelly Kordawith eight top-10 finishes on the season. Jin Young Ko finished as the runner-up and Eun-Hee Ji finished T6 to move into a tie for fifth with seven top-10 finishes along withLexi Thompson.
DOW GREAT LAKES BAY INVITATIONAL FORMAT
The tournament is a 72-hole, stroke-play team event with teams comprised of two players. The first and third rounds will be played in foursomes (alternate shot) and the second and final rounds will be played in a four-ball (best-ball) format. After 36 holes, the field will be cut to the low 35 teams and ties.
In the event of a playoff, the champions will be determined by a hole-by-hole playoff in the foursomes format.
Each LPGA Member on the winning team will receive the standard two-year winner’s exemption on the LPGA Priority List. Winners will also get into the 2019 Evian Championship, 2019 AIG Women’s British Open, 2020 ANA Inspiration and 2020 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, as well as the 2020 and 2021 Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions. CME points and prize money will be official for the purposes of the current-year LPGA Official Money List and Race to the CME Globe Standings. Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings, Rolex Player of the Year, Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year and U.S. Solheim Cup points will not be allocated, and statistics will not be calculated.
SOCIAL MEDIA - #DriveOn
Tournament: @DowGLBI; #DowGLBI, #TeamUp
LPGA: @LPGA, @LPGAMedia (Twitter), @lpga_tour (Instagram)
TOURNAMENT SCORING RECORDS
18 holes foursomes: 64 (-6), Ariya Jutanugarn and Moriya Jutanugarn, third round, 2019
18 holes four-ball: 58 (-12), Minjee Lee and Jin Young Ko, fourth round, 2019
36 holes: 130 (-10), Stephanie Meadow and Giulia Molinaro, 2019; Celine Boutier and Karine Icher, 2019; Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel, 2019
54 holes: 194 (-16), Jasmine Suwannapura and Cydney Clanton, 2019
72 holes: 253 (-27), Jasmine Suwannapura and Cydney Clanton, 2019