The second round of the IOA Golf Classic presented by LPT Realty concluded Sunday afternoon. The final round began shortly after the second round ended. However, due to weather in the area and unplayable course conditions, the players were taken off the course, and the tournament was officially shortened to 36 holes. At the end of the second round, three players, Jenny Coleman, Sophie Hausmann, and Dottie Ardina were all tied at –10 and went into a playoff to decide a champion.
Coleman finished her second round on Saturday, while the rest of the field went out to complete their round early Sunday morning and into the afternoon. The 30-year-old had the advantage of playing less golf on Sunday, but there can be a fine line between rest and rust. Coleman put herself into a positive mindset Sunday morning, despite having all day to wait for her tee time which was initially set for 4:35 PM ET.
"You just really have to be patient on days like these. You don't want to be too anxious, but you're always going to be heading into a final round," said Coleman. "I tried to sleep in, went to eat breakfast, and just hung out. I went through my normal warm-up routine, and then it was just a waiting game."
Coleman had to wait longer than expected before finally stepping onto the course. Play was suspended before hitting her first tee ball for the final round. The final round was then canceled due to weather and unplayable conditions. Finally, with the hard work of the Alaqua Country Club's maintenance team and the Epson Tour staff, hole 18 was ready for a playoff at 6:50 PM.
"It is a little tough. Finishing yesterday in the morning wave and then not teeing off until almost 7 o'clock is a long time to wait," said Coleman. "It can be better to be on the course and get a feel for the different elements, but you just have to be ready for anything on days like these."
The University of Colorado Boulder alumna was more than ready for the playoff. Coleman would hit her approach to five feet and make the putt for birdie to win the IOA Golf Classic presented by LPT Realty on the first playoff hole.
Ardina was part of the wave that could not finish her second round Saturday, only getting in one hole before play was suspended. However, the former Epson champion took to the course early Sunday morning and was able to put together a six-under round that her eagle on No. 13 emphasized. Ardina's 65 was good enough to push her into a playoff with Coleman and Hausmann.
"You know, it's tough because of the rain delay. I had a good start in the one hole I played on Saturday; I made birdie," said Ardina. "The restart for this morning happened, and I made an early eagle and made a couple of birdies coming in, so I was very happy with the way I played today."
Roberta Liti (-9) and Allison Emrey (-8) finished the tournament in fourth and fifth place, respectively. Both players were able to card solid four-under second rounds to maintain their spots in the top 5 for the tournament.
Roberta Liti (-9, 4th) on patience during weather delays:
“My biggest thing was to stay in the present and make the most of every opportunity – one hole at a time and see how much golf we get to play. It was key because if you start to worry about what’s going to happen and what the weather is going to do, it alters things you can control, so I stayed in the present and kept playing hole by hole.”
Britney Yada (-5, T11) on finishing the second round after an overnight suspension:
“I had an eight-footer for birdie that I didn’t get to putt yesterday, so this morning I practiced eight-foot left to right putts. And I hit a couple five irons because I knew 15 was about that distance. I feel like I prepared well and trusted myself and my preparation.”
Katherine Smith (-5, T11) on her bogey-free 63 (-8) second round:
"I struggled on this course early in the week, so I wasn’t too disappointed when we got pulled off yesterday. It allowed me to stay with a good attitude and really come at today with a fresh perspective. It was just trying to make the cut and earn some more golf today. So, I am glad I did that and it’s nice to kind of be in the mix now."