Last year, Jillian Hollis made her Epson Tour debut as a professional at the Forsyth Classic. She forced a four-hole playoff with the eventual winner Isi Gabsa but missed out on her first title. This year, Hollis put those demons to rest as she conquered Hickory Point Golf Club and won by two strokes at -13. The win is her second of 2019 and slides her into the No. 1 spot on the Volvik Race for the Card standings.
Hollis played in the final pairing with Cydney Clanton, who forced her way into contention with a second-round 64 to enter the third round tied with Hollis at -11. “We were back and forth for a little bit, and I made some birdies earlier on. She had a birdie, but the pins were in really hard locations,” said Hollis. “It was great having her in the group…we had a fun time.”
The 22-year-old Hollis returned a 2-under 70 in the final round and was almost perfect off the tee, hitting 13 of 14 fairways. This was the last playing of the Forsyth Classic and while Hollis is sad to see the tournament leave the schedule, she was thrilled to win on a course that felt so comfortable
“I was so excited to play this year because you go and play a golf course that you play really well at and you love, and I loved this golf course,” said Hollis. “It’s very similar to my golf course at home and the courses I play at home, so to get to play here and finally win after four playoff holes last year…that’s just experience. Just having that and believing in myself and knowing that I could do it.
Mind Muangkhumsakul finished in solo second at -11. Clanton, Esther Lee and Min Seo Kwak tied for third at -10. Karolina Vlckova, who was also in the final grouping and T2 after the second round, ended T23 at -5.
CYDNEY CLANTON COMES UP SHORT AFTER SPECTACULAR SECOND ROUND
“I’m a little tired. I’m ready to eat and I’m ready to get off my feet.” That is all that Cydney Clanton needed after a long day in Decatur, where she finished her second round early Sunday morning. The 29-year-old went on to shoot her Epson Tour career-best 8-under 64 to tie Jillian Hollis for the lead at -11.
The afternoon played out a little different for Clanton, who fell to -10 and T3 by the end of the day after playing in the final grouping with Hollis and Karolina Vlckova. “I played great this morning. I hit the ball well, I did everything I was supposed to do to get myself an opportunity to be where I was,” said Clanton. “Unfortunately, I just didn’t get anything rolling this afternoon, and that’s how golf is. Sometimes you’re stripping it and sometimes you’re not. That’s just how it was today.”
Despite missing out on another win in 2019, Clanton said she looks back fondly on what she was able to accomplish in the morning, which included six consecutive birdies on holes 5 through 11. On top of that, she has already set a goal in mind for her next round.
“I hit the ball really well and made a lot of really good putts. To make nine birdies in any round is really good,” said Clanton.” I think last week at the ShopRite LPGA Classic I had eight in one round, so to even top that…three times I’ve had six birdies in a row so I was trying to beat it but came up short again. So eventually I’m going to get to seven birdies in a row.
VOLVIK RACE FOR THE CARD STANDINGS AFTER WEEK ELEVEN
Following the 11th tournament of the 2019 Epson Tour season, the Volvik Race for the Card welcomes a fresh top-10.
The victory and $30,000 winner’s check move Jillian Hollis up four spots to No. 1, having earned $84,327 across nine starts this season. Here is a look at the current top-10 heading into the ninth annual Island Resort Championship at Sweetgrass Golf Club in Harris, Mich., from June 21-23:
- Jillian Hollis (Rocky River, Ohio) - $84,327
- Leona Maguire (County Cavan, Ireland) - $75,654
- Perrine Delacour (Paris, France) - $73,714
- Julieta Granada (Asuncion, Paraguay) - $58,899
- Nuria Iturrioz (Mallorca, Spain) - $56,402
- Min Seo Kwak (Seoul, Republic of Korea) - $42,311
- Cydney Clanton (Concord, North Carolina) - $41,854
- Maddie Szeryk (London, Ontario, Canada) - $41, 207
- Kyung Kim (Chandler, Arizona) - $39,080
- Maria Parra (Guadiaro, Spain) - $38,360
Esther Lee (-10, T3) on it being the final Forsyth Classic:
“It’s the 35th year and it’s the longest tournament we’ve ever had. It’s such a special thing to have and I am sure and I know that a lot of players are really sad about it being the last year but you never know!”
Bailey Tardy (-8, T10) on shooting 6-under 66 during the final round after completing her second round Sunday morning:
“I played 27 holes today, so it’s all blurring together. But I guess this last 18 I got off to a good start. Birdied No. 1 and 3, and then I think I just kept on birdie-ing. I birdied No. 4 and 6 and 9, so I was just hitting them close and making the putts and I had real fun. I had one of my best friends on the bag, so we were just laughing the whole time really.”
PLAYER NOTESJillian Hollis
- Hollis, 22, is from Rocky River, Ohio
- Made her professional debut at the 2018 U.S. Women’s Open
- Spent three years at the University of Georgia and was a three-time All-American
- Two-time All-SEC Second Team selection before being named to the First Team in 2018
- Competed in the 2014 Canadian Pacific Women’s Open, as well as the 2016 and 2018 Marathon Classic on the LPGA Tour
- Made the cut in eight of 12 starts in her rookie campaign on the Epson Tour last season
- Lost in a sudden-death playoff in her Epson Tour debut at the 2018 Forsyth Classic
- Stepped into the winner’s circle for the first time in her professional career at the 2019 IOA Championship presented by Morongo Casino Resort & Spa