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After run at Symetra history, Alexa Pano settles for a top 10
10 Mar 2019
by Julie Williams of AmateurGolf.com

see also: Alexa Pano Rankings

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Alexa Pano (DJ World Junior photo)
Alexa Pano (DJ World Junior photo)

The final twosome off the first tee Sunday in the Symetra Tour season opener included a 14-year-old. You’d be hard-pressed to find another professional tour that can claim that statistic, but such is the nature of women’s golf lately.

Even though Alexa Pano didn’t win the SkiGolf Championship this week in North Port, Fla., she was easily the biggest story. Pano played her way to 8 under for a share of the lead through 54 holes. When her game stalled in the final round at Charlotte Harbor National Golf Club, she settled for T-8. A closing 73 – with just two bogeys and a birdie – was, in Pano’s mind, “tough, but not the worst.”

“I knew after the second or third hole that I didn’t feel right with my swing and my putting …,” Pano said. “It just continued throughout the day and it wasn’t something that I could just fix.”

Pano was making her second Symetra Tour start and her third professional start (having played last summer’s Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic). This is her first top-10 and came on the heels of a 12-shot victory at last week’s Dustin Johnson World Junior Championship.

Despite wishing she could have a few shots back at the end of the day, Pano said she wouldn’t dwell on showing up without her best stuff. Had she won, Pano would have replaced Hannah O’Sullivan as the youngest winner in Symetra Tour history. O’Sullivan was 16 when she won the Gateway Classic in 2015.

“It’s pretty frustrating not making birdies, especially when the whole week, that’s what you’re doing, and especially in the final group,” Pano said. “I can’t be too upset with it. I feel like I played really well the whole week and just had a lot of off-shots today.”

Alana Uriell, who finished her college eligibility at Arkansas last season, won the event in her professional debut. Uriell was 12 under, and won a playoff with Lauren Coughlin and Julieta Granada.

As for Pano, expect to see her again at this level. The homeschooled high-school freshman likes jumping from event to event – and why not when you’re playing well – but missed a Sunday afternoon flight to the Kathy Whitworth Invitational, another junior event. Instead, she expects to sub another event into her schedule in the lead-up to the Augusta National Women’s Amateur next month.

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