When Brittany Fan arrived at National Golf Club of Louisiana for the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana Open, last week’s tournament on the Women’s All Pro Tour, it was business as usual. The prep focused on how to build off her finish in the Houma Golf Classic a couple days earlier. But that result was anything but a normal T2 showing.
The top-two players at the conclusion of the Houma Golf Classic earned exemptions into the Epson Tour’s IOA Championship presented by Morongo Casino Resort & Spa from March 25-27.
“I knew the three of us were close, in terms of score, going into the last couple holes. The leader [Simin Feng] sank a putt for birdie on the last hole to win by one,” said Fan. “Then we immediately went to our phones [me and Kathleen Scavo], checked the scores and found out we tied for second. I was like, ‘Are we going to have a sudden-death playoff? How are we going to break this tie?’”
They went down the list. The first tiebreaker was season points but since the Houma Golf Classic was the first event of the year, both had a clean slate. Scoring average was next and believe it or not, Fan and Scavo each fired identical rounds of 69-68-71-69. Lowest final-round score was the third tiebreaker, and the identical rounds took care of that, so it was on to a scorecard playoff. Fan and Scavo both managed a par on No. 18. A birdie on No. 17 by Scavo proved to be the difference.
A sinking feeling set in for Fan.
“It was a little upsetting,” Fan said. “I knew she was already in the IOA Championship because of her win on the Cactus Tour [in early March]. We shot the same scores and, in my opinion a sudden-death playoff would have been a great way to decide the winner.”
But the feeling would not last long.
“I showed up to the tournament the next week in Louisiana. They told me I was doing an interview, but instead I got surprised in the middle of it with the second exemption spot into the IOA Championship,” said Fan. “IOA was briefed about the situation and impressed with my play. I’m so fortunate to be here.”
Fan is in her fourth season on the Epson Tour. The University of Colorado alumna captured a career-best finish on the “Road to the LPGA” of a tie for 33rd at the 2021 Twin Bridges Championship. She will make her second start in the 2022 campaign on the Champions Course of Morongo Golf Club at Tukwet Canyon.
“In order to get where you need to go, having the opportunity to play these events is very important. It is the fact that when preparation meets opportunity, you try to execute and do the best you can,” said Fan. “I’ve worked a lot on being at peace and balanced, in combination with working on the right things. I feel in a much more solid, calm, secure place.”