There were 28 birdies and one eagle recorded Saturday on the 18th hole at Atlanta National Golf Club in Milton, Georgia, during the final round of the IOA Championship and Casey Danielson figured she would need to join the list to have a chance at her first Symetra Tour victory.
Unfortunately for the Osceola native, she hit her second shot to the par-5 into the water and made a bogey. That left her with a final-round 70 and, at 5-under-par 211 for the 54-hole event, one shot out of a playoff that Spain's Maria Parra won over three other golfers after they finished at 6-under 210.
"On (No.) 18, I went for the par-5 in two with my hybrid and ended up hitting a bad shot into the water," Danielson wrote in a text to Wisconsin.Golf. "Once I got up to the green, I saw the stacked leaderboard along with my name and thought someone would come in at 7-under."
Danielson, who played in the fifth-to-last group, overcame a strange start in which she went birdie-bogey-par-bogey and made her move toward the top of the leaderboard with birdies at Nos. 7 and 9 to make the turn in 1-under. After four straight pars to open the back nine, Danielson birdied the par-4 14th hole, tacked on two more pars and birdied No. 17 to get to 6-under.
"On (No.) 17, I hit a hybrid into a really tough hole location," Danielson wrote. "It hit the flagstick and ended up a foot a way."
Her fifth-place finish is her second top-five showing in her last three starts and seventh top-10 finish in 17 career starts on the LPGA's developmental tour. As well as she played on a demanding layout over the final round, though, Danielson headed to this week's Symtra Tour stop in Davidson, N.C., brimming with confidence that she can learn from Sunday's experience.
"Atlanta National proved to be a tough course this week," Danielson wrote. "It is a difficult track, you really have to plot yourself around the course. I did a good job mapping out the course in the days leading up to the event, noting the best miss areas and holes that par would be a good score. I followed through with my plan during the tournament and was able to play really steady golf. ... (It's) tough that it ended up being one stroke (short), but it’s just more preparation for the next time I’m in contention."