Jacksonville Sports Day

Cydney Clanton Takes Victory in Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout

Photo Courtesy LPGA

It took 57 holes, but Cydney Clanton  completed a stellar effort in El Dorado, Ark. by finding the bottom of the cup for birdie on the third frame of a sudden-death playoff with Julieta Granada to win the fifth annual Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout.

It is the second career Symetra Tour victory for the Auburn University alumna. She captured the 2013 Four Winds Invitational, also in the form of a sudden-death playoff.

Clanton battled to an even par performance that featured two double bogeys, two bogeys and six birdies. She also withstood a furious charge from Granada, who put together an outstanding 3-under par 69 final round.

“The other playoff was seven holes, so to do it in three holes was a lot nicer not having to go back to the tee again,” Clanton said with a smile. “Everybody is like, ‘Why aren’t you more excited?’ I don’t know if it has hit yet. It has been a weird year, coming in this was my first event of the year. It’s kind of crazy to be standing here doing this interview.”

There isn’t much time for celebration as Clanton has a quick turnaround from a competitive schedule standpoint. She is off to Virginia and will tee it up on Tuesday at Springfield Golf & Country Club in a 36-hole sectional qualifier for the 74th U.S Women’s Open Championship.

The best score from the final round came courtesy of Min Seo Kwak (Seoul, Republic of Korea), who fired a 6-under par 66 to climb the leaderboard from tied for 17th to solo third when the day concluded.

After missing the cut at Mystic Creek Golf Club last year, Kwak entered this week with the simple mentality of performing better than before. She exceeded that objective and then some, finishing just two strokes shy of joining Clanton and Granada in the sudden-death playoff.

“I don’t know, just hit the numbers every time and the shot I wanted, the targets,” Kwak said after hitting 13 fairways and 16 greens in regulation. “It’s great because I never thought I could play this good on this course. My goal was to play better than last year, and I played way better, so that’s great. At No. 9 saw some people on the leaderboard were under par, but I was close so knew I had to birdie more.”

Following the fifth tournament of the 2019 Symetra Tour season, the Volvik Race for the Card welcomes a fresh top-10. The victory and $22,500 winner’s check move Cydney Clanton from unraked to No. 6, having earned $22,500 courtesy of her first start this season.

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