16-year-old O'Sullivan becomes youngest Symetra Tour winner

AP News
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Posted: Feb 22, 2015 9:27 PM

MESA, Ariz. (AP) — Hannah O'Sullivan became the youngest winner in Symetra Tour history Sunday, shooting a 3-under 69 for a four-stroke victory in the season-opening Gateway Classic.

The 16-year-old O'Sullivan is a junior at nearby Hamilton High School in nearby Chandler.

"It's going to be fun going back to school tomorrow," she said. "I have a history test tomorrow, a math quiz and an English paper due, but I can manage and this is good practice for what college will be like."

With mother Sarah caddying for her, O'Sullivan broke the age record of 17 set by LPGA Tour star Cristie Kerr in the 1995 Ironwood Futures Classic in Gainesville, Florida.

"It means a lot. Winning on the Symetra Tour at any age means a lot," O'Sullivan said. "It's really a big boost of confidence. ... It's a week I'll never forget."

O'Sullivan is the first amateur winner since Kellee Booth in the 1999 Pacific Bell Futures Classic in Riverside, California.

"It hasn't really sunk in yet, but it feels incredible," O'Sullivan said. "I just can't believe what's happening. I'm just so thankful to be getting this opportunity and to represent the local area. To come out with a win, I can't describe it."

O'Sullivan finished at 15-under 201 at Longbow Golf Club. She opened with rounds of 69 and 65 to take a four-stroke lead into the final day.

On Sunday, she birdied four of her first eight holes to open a seven-stroke lead. She bogeyed the par-5 15th, only her second bogey of the week.

"It was tough, really tough," O'Sullivan said. "The greens were firm and pretty fast. My putting was really good, so that helped a lot."

O'Sullivan will try to qualify for the LPGA Tour's Founders Cup next month at Wildfire in Phoenix.

O'Sullivan has verbally committed to play at the University of Southern California. She was a semifinalist last year in the U.S. Women's Amateur and played on the winning U.S. team in the Junior Ryder Cup in Scotland. She won Arizona high school titles in 2012 and 2013.

Former University of Mississippi player Haley Italia was second — and earned the $15,000 top prize. She birdied two of the last three holes for a 69.

Italy's Giulia Molinaro was third at 8 under after a 67.