MILWAUKEE — There was no catching Robynn Ree during Sunday's final round of the Symetra Tour PHC Classic at Brown Deer Park Golf Course.
But Casey Danielson would like to have given it a better try.
A balky putter over the final 13 holes slowed the Osceola golfer's bid at a final-round rally after birdies at Nos. 4 and 5 had helped her climb within five shots of the lead. In the end, Danielson's closing 72 left her in a tie for 13th place at 6-under 210 — 11 shots behind Ree, whose second consecutive 66 gave her a tournament-record 17-under 199 total and a three-stroke victory over Pat Hurst (65) while Maia Schecter (67) was five shots back at 204.
"The back nine is harder than the front nine, so that definitely plays a role in scoring," Danielson wrote in a text message to Wisconsin.golf after playing Nos. 10 through 18 in 2-over during the 54-hole event while she was 8-under on the front nine. "I didn’t have my best game these past few days. I was just able to make a few more putts the last two days (Friday and Saturday)."
For Ree, 22, of Redondo Beach, Calif., the victory was her second straight on the LPGA's developmental tour and her fifth top-10 in 13 starts. The former Southern Cal golfer won two weeks ago at the CDPHP Open in Albany, N.Y.
“I tried to keep the momentum going from my win in Albany and hopefully can now use both to finish the season strong,” Ree said after moving into fifth place in the Volvik Race for the Card after 17 weeks. “The goal is always to win again, but I don’t want to be greedy. Just take each week as it is, but if I’m in contention again then I’ll do my best to take that opportunity.”
Danielson, who had three birdies in her first five holes Sunday before playing her final 13 holes in 2-over, held onto the No. 24 spot in the Volvik Race for the Card. The top 10 on that earnings list at the end of the season earn LPGA Tour status for 2020 while Nos. 11 through 35 plus ties qualify for the LPGA Q-Series, a 144-hole event played over two weekends in Pinehurst, N.C., with the top 45 finishers plus ties earning LPGA Status for the 2020 season.
"I’m really happy with the improvement of my putting," wrote Danielson, who will join Edgerton's Allyssa Ferrell, Madison's Jessie Gerry and Waunakee's Ashley Madden in this week's Symetra Tour event in Battle Creek, Mich.
"I feel a lot more confident on the greens than I have this whole season and I’m looking forward to building off that the rest of the season," Danielson wrote. "I’m waiting for all parts of my game to fall into place and hopefully string a couple of low rounds together in one of these next few events. I’m going to continue to keep learning and improving each week."
Ferrell finale a 77
What will likely be Ferrell's final competitive round at Brown Deer Park GC did not go the way the Edgerton golfer had hoped.
Ferrell struggled to a closing 77 and finished 68th among the 69 golfers who made the cut, making two birdies, three bogeys and two double-bogeys. But she told Wisconsin.golf that the thrill of playing in front of family and friends one more time in her home state topped anything she did on the golf course.
"It was definitely a hard 'goodbye' (Sunday) to Brown Deer," Ferrell wrote via text message. "It’s always had a special place in my heart. It was great playing at home because I had so many family members who came and watched and my boyfriend and his mother and sister came to support me as well. It was definitely overwhelming at times with the amount of support. I had my grandfather's funeral on Thursday before I teed off and that was emotional and difficult."
The former Michigan State golfer still has a lot to look forward to during her final weeks on the Symetra Tour before likely stepping away from competitive golf. After playing less than an hour from her collegiate alma mater this week in Battle Creek, she will defend her title Sept. 6 through 8 at the Garden City Charity Classic in Kansas.
"I’m going to finish out my season on the Symetra Tour," Ferrell wrote. "I’m really looking forward to going back to Garden City. It’s where my childhood dream came true last year. Trying to just soak in every moment and memory I can these next few months."