ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Sadena Parks become the second black winner in Symetra Tour history Sunday, rallying to win the SEFCU Championship at Capital Hills.
Parks, the 24-year-old former University of Washington player from Tacoma, matched the course record with a bogey-free 9-under 62 for a one-stroke victory over Taiwan’s Min Lee.
“I’ve been waiting two years for this,” Parks said. “I’m just really excited, I can’t wait to talk to my dad, my friends and I just want to take it all in.”
LaRee Sugg was the first black champion on the developmental tour, winning in 1998 in Pewaukee, Wisconsin.
“The steps that I am taking helps to influence younger African-American kids, girls and boys, and even parents that have younger kids that want them to be more involved in this game,” Parks said.
Parks, seven strokes behind Lee entering the round, finished at 14-under 199 to tie the tournament record set by Seon-Hwa Lee in 2005. Parks earned $15,000 to jump from 14th to sixth on the money list with $36,213. The final top 10 will earn 2015 LPGA Tour cards.
“Kind of how Tiger Woods changed golf, I want to be the next African-American out there on the LPGA Tour,” Parks said. “I want to be ranked No. 1 on the LPGA Tour one day. … My goal for this year was to earn my LPGA Tour card and right now being No. 6 is very exciting. I’m going to hold that position. Actually, since there are six more tournaments, I am going to try and move up on the money list.”
Lee closed with a 70 after opening with consecutive 65s.
“I knew I was hunting for Min Lee, but I honestly didn’t see this coming,” Park said. “I just stayed in the moment, birdie after birdie and I kept dropping them. It turned out to be a great day.”
Parks was second in the previous tour event, the Island Resort Championship on July 29.
Brianna Do and South Korea’s Min Seo Kwak tied for third at 12 under. They each shot 66.
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