MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin, August 6, 2017 - Brittany Marchand (Orangeville, Ontario) handled the pressure of her first Sunday lead like a veteran that has won many times before. She posted a bogey-free 4-under, 68 at Brown Deer Park to win the PHC Classic by three shots. Marchand finished with a three-day score of 13-under, 203.
After a 1-under, 71 on Friday, Marchand made 13 birdies and just one bogey over the final two rounds to earn her first win on the Epson Tour and her first win as a professional. Marchand pockets the $15,000 and moves from 41st to 17th on the Volvik Race for the Card money list with six events remaining. She has now earned $28,680 in 14 starts this year.
Marchand also earns a spot in The Evian Championship, the final major on the LPGA schedule from September 14-17. The top two finishers at the PHC Classic earned spots. Marion Ricordeau, a native of Laon, France, finished in second place at 10-under, 206 to stamp her ticket to compete in her first Evian Championship.
“It’s a really special moment,” said Marchand, a second-year pro. “I know that I have the ability and I know it’s in me, it’s just really cool to see it shine through.”
Marchand never once showed signs of struggling with the nerves and she credited the experience at the Manulife LPGA Classic, when she made the cut and was in the top 10 after three rounds.
“The experience there where I was up in a really good position really helped me today,” said Marchand, who slipped on Sunday at the LPGA event, but still finished T46. “It really helped me today to keep calm and just keep doing my thing. This is pretty awesome and pretty surreal at this point.”
Marchand started a little slow with pars on the first two holes, but then made a critical birdie from just on the second cut of grass on the par-3 third. She decided to use the flatstick and hit a 20-footer.
“When you are nervous, eliminating a lot of hand movement is key so that is why I decided to putt instead of hitting a fine chip shot,” explained Marchand. “That helped me relax and it made me think that if I play like I did yesterday I would be fine.”
On hole nine, Marchand hit what she described as a “bad drive”, but recovered with a 5-iron to 15 feet.
“After making that putt on nine I felt really good,” said Marchand, who built a three-stroke lead to the back nine. “I was really pleased with three-under on the front and the putt gave me a boost to end strong. Even though I didn’t drop many putts on the back, I felt like I played really solid.”
Marchand has had a bit of inconsistent year by her own standards. She felt the win comes at a perfect time.
“I feel like I’ve been very up-and-down this season and it has knocked my confidence down a bit because I know I am there, but I haven’t been able to see it shine through, “ said Marchand. “It definitely gives me a good boost going into the last six events feeling confident to make a push for my (LPGA) card.”
Marchand still has some ground to make up. She is approximately $14,000 short of No. 10 on the money list. The good news is that the next Epson Tour event is the Sioux Falls GreatLIFE Challenge, which offers the highest purse ($210,000) and winner’s payout ($31,500) on Tour. The Tour will take three weeks off before heading to South Dakota.
The top ten remained completely unchanged after the PHC Classic with Nanna Koerstz Madsen (Copenhagen, Denmark), Benyapa Niphatsophon (Bangkok, Thailand) and Erynne Lee (Silverdale, Washington) holding the top three spots. No. 11 Lindsey Weaver (Bellefontaine, Ohio) was unable to close the gap on No. 10 Kendall Dye (Edmond, Oklahoma) as they both finished in a tie for 14th.