Jacksonville Sports Day

GOLF: Memories Drive Iacobelli Up Leaderboard

Patricia Sanz Barrio

Following a 7-under par 65 in the first round of the Symetra Tour Championship on the Jones Course at LPGA International, Daniela Iacobelli is one of three players tied for the lead and she has a little bit of history on her side.

Iacobelli won the 2012 Symetra Tour Championship to jump into the Volvik Race for the Card top-10 and earn LPGA Tour membership for the 2013 season. A solo second result this time around along with some help would get the Florida Institute of Technology alumna into the top-10, but a win would ensure her a place among the 2019 Symetra Tour graduating class.

“I felt nerves over the putt on No. 18 because you’re staring out at the LPGA sign and I could remember the exact putt I had when I won in 2012,” said Iacobelli, currently No. 16 in the Volvik Race for the Card. “It was a little reminiscent about it, but still a fresh start. It’s so many things and I just keep trying to stay present, but I’m not really good at that most of the time. We were also fortunate enough this morning to play 10 holes without any real wind.”

Another 18-hole co-leader in Volusia County, Kendra Dalton has already secured Symetra Tour Category A membership for 2020 as she will finish in the top-80 on the Volvik Race for the Card money list.

It is now a matter of chasing the second annual LPGA Q-Series, with Nos. 11-35 automatically qualifying for the event. At $17,806 in total season earnings, Dalton is $17,891 outside of the last spot.

“Nothing to lose is the mindset I had coming into this week,” Dalton said after a bogey-free showing. “I feel like I have yet to play my best this year, so just go play free and I feel like that’s what I did today. It was exciting to see my game come together. Really is about how bad you want it and going after it. It’s a fun opportunity and spot to be in.”

The final individual that is part of the co-leader trio, Laura Wearn found her way to a 7-under par 65 in bogey-free fashion like Dalton. It also sets a season-best score to par, which tops her previous of 6-under set in March for the second round of Florida’s Natural Charity Classic.

“It was nice to finally play a solid round,” said Wearn, ranked No. 65 in the Volvik Race for the Card with $16,663. “Kind of been a tough year and a few good ones sprinkled in there, but I hit the ball really well today. I hit it really close, made a couple good putts. For the most part, everything was close to the hole. I hit all 18 greens which I don’t think I’ve done all year, hopefully continue the rest of the weekend.”

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