Meet the Symetra Tour players who earned U.S. Women’s Open spots




Ali Palma / Symetra Tour


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The Symetra Tour wrapped up its 2020 season on Friday. The top five players on the money list earned LPGA status for 2021 as well as a berth in next month’s U.S. Women’s Open.

The tour typically hands out 10 cards each season, but with LPGA status frozen this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that number was cut in half. In addition, the level of status players received also dropped from Category 9 to 19. (Category 19 is typically reserved for the Class A/Veteran International players who have been active on the tour for at least 10 consecutive years. Category 19 sits below Nos. 125-150 on the money list.)

The 75th U.S. Women’s Open will be held Dec. 10-13 at Champions Golf Club in Houston and features a purse of $5,500,000.

Here are the top five finishers:

  1. Ana Belac, Portoroz, Slovenia ($49,081) – Former Duke player turned pro after her senior season was cut short due to COVID-19 and didn’t miss a beat, making the cut in all nine starts. A victory last week at the Carolina Golf Classic vaulted her up the standings. Led the tour in birdies with 111. Said Belac: “There has been so much to 2020 that seems nearly unbelievable, but with all the hard work I have put in, this is a reality; it’s a dream come true.”
  2. Fatima Fernandez Cano, Santiago de Compostela, Spain ($48,069) – Cruised her to card despite missing two tournaments due to COVID-19, including the season finale. Third-year Symetra player won her first title at the IOA Championship and finished in the top 15 in six of eight starts. Finished second on the tour in scoring (70.880). Said Fernandez Cano: “This season has been a whirlwind, to say the least. I’m so thankful for all the Symetra Tour did to find a way to have us compete in as safe a manner as possible and extra thankful to achieve what I’ve worked so hard for over the years. There was quite a mountain of adversity to overcome, but with the support from my sisters on Tour, staff, medical personnel, family and friends, I am a Symetra Tour graduate and I get to play in the U.S. Women’s Open. To say I’m excited would be an understatement.”
  3. Kim Kaufman, Clark, South Dakota ($44,459) – LPGA veteran notched her third career Symetra Tour title at the Four Winds Invitational in September. Posted six top-20s in 10 starts. Kaufman’s LPGA status was actually already better than she earned from the Symetra Tour, but the USWO berth is a huge bonus for the Texas Tech grad. Said Kaufman: “Spending seven years on the LPGA Tour, this season has been a tremendous learning experience and I couldn’t be more grateful. I was able to travel the country extensively with my husband (and caddie) Johan (Wolkesson), gained an even stronger appreciation for the game, developed new friendships and worked my game back to form. … I am greatly looking forward to competing in the U.S. Women’s Open in my (now) home state of Texas in December. It will be good to be home.”
  4. Frida Kinhult, Fiskebackskil, Sweden ($42,057)A four-stroke victory at the Symetra Tour Championship catapulted Kinhult into the top five. The former Florida State standout finished in the top 15 four times in eight starts, missing only one cut. The Symetra Tour rookie set a new single-season scoring average record of 70.66 while at Florida State, sharing ACC Player of the Year honors with LPGA pro Jennifer Kupcho. She was also the Division I Freshman of the Year. This will be Kinhult’s debut in the USWO. Said Kinhult: What a surreal feeling, winning my first professional tournament to secure my 2021 LPGA card and join the competition for the U.S. Women’s Open in a few weeks. It’s so much to take in and almost seems too good to be true.”
  5. Janie Jackson, Huntsville, Alabama ($41,723) – A victory at the season-opening Florida’s Natural Charity Classic back in March set Jackson up for success in a most unpredictable year. In addition to overcoming the impact of COVID-19, Jackson also dealt with a left wrist injury. A tie for fifth at the season-ender put Jackson, an Alabama grad, in position to earn her card. Jackson led the tour in driving distance at 288 yards. Said Jackson: “It’s really special to earn LPGA membership for next year and also qualify for the U.S. Women’s Open next month with a good finish at the Symetra Tour Championship. The last time I played in the U.S. Open was when I qualified in 2014 as an amateur.”


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