ALBANY, N.Y. – Jackie Stoelting (Vero Beach, Fla.) made a 28-footer on the second playoff hole to fend off rising star Emma Talley (Princeton, Ky.) to win the Fuccillo Kia Championship at Capital Hills. It was her third career victory and first in 2016. Stoelting posted a 1-under 70 to finish at 9-under, 204 to get into the playoff.
Stoelting, 29, earns a payday of $18,750 and a brand new 2016 Kia Forte courtesy of Fuccillo Kia of
Schenectady. Stoelting moves from 28th to sixth on the new Volvik Race for the Card money list.
“We’re honored to have partnered with the Symetra Tour again and for Fuccillo Kia of Schenectady to be part of the ‘Road to the LPGA,’” said Billy Fuccillo, president of Fuccillo Automotive Group. “We congratulate all of the golfers who competed in the Fuccillo Kia Championship at Capital Hills and helped make it a ‘HUGE’ success and are excited that we were able to provide Jackie with her own new Kia.”
The win is extra special for Stoelting because it comes at the site of her first professional event in 2008.
“It feels awesome, this is like a second home to me,” said Stoelting, whose mom and dad both grew up in the Capital Region. “Today was a fight, but I am proud of my comeback and it is extra special to finally be able to do it here. It feels good to make a birdie to win the tournament.”
Stoelting, who entered the rainy and windy day with a one shot lead, started with bogeys on two of the first three holes. She made par on the next six holes and was two shots off the lead at the turn. Stoelting caught fire with birdies on 13, 14 and 16 to take the outright lead at 9-under. Talley hit a marvelous shot on the par-3 18th and made birdie with Stoelting watching on the tee to get to 9-under. Stoelting proceeded to make par and the two went to a playoff. They each made par on the first playoff hole and then Talley hit her tee shot heavy on the par-3 18th and landed in the bunker. Stoelting was safely on the green on the second tier. Talley flew her bunker shot past the green to put Stoelting in the driver’s seat. Stoelting left no doubt by steam rolling her putt for birdie into the hole to win.
“I 3-putted both of the par-5 holes on the front nine and that was pretty frustrating,” admitted Stoelting. “When I made the turn, I told myself that tournaments start on the back nine and I knew that I shot 30 and 32 on the back nine this week and I could make some birdies. Once I made one, I was able to make two more. I tried to give myself a pep talk when I was behind and I’m happy I never gave up.”
Stoelting had been playing well with seven top 30 finishes, but no top 10 results before the win.
“It feels great to finally be able to put it all together especially in the heart of the season,” said Stoelting. “The year I finished in the top 10 (2014), I didn’t have a win so it feels great to be able to get one early on.”
Stoelting told the media that she was having car troubles of late and recently had to spend a significant amount of money to repair her car.
“I’m really thankful to Fuccillo for donating the car to the winner,” said Stoelting. “I’m really excited about it because I have been having car troubles so this is a great added bonus to the win.”
Stoelting had a huge gallery of “Jackos Wackos” following her all week.
“This is so special because my first professional tournament was on this course eight years ago (2008) and my parents are from here,” said Stoelting. “This is the most amount of people I’ve had come out to watch me. It was really special for both my parents to be here as well.”
Her father, Ed, was on the bag. It’s the second time he has been on the bag for a Symetra Tour victory. He was also her caddy for the win at the IOA Golf Classic in 2015.
EMMA TALLEY PROUD OF FINISH IN DEBUT: Emma Talley made her presence known right away as she got into a playoff and earned $12,021 in her professional debut to get to 33rd on the Volvik Race for the Card money list.
“I didn’t have any expectations of what to finish and I’m really happy with second place,” said Talley, who was very gracious in defeat. “It is a little bittersweet. I came out here with nerves and I ended with nerves.”
Talley posted a bogey-free 4-under 67 just to get into a playoff.
“I’m pretty proud of myself,” said Talley. “I knew I had to make that last putt on the 18th hole to even have a chance at a playoff and I did it. To make that putt was great for my confidence.”
Talley said she was feeling the anxiety and pressure during the playoff, but she now knows that she can compete.
“I told my dad after the first day that this is not fun,” said Talley. “The second day was a lot of fun and I was much more comfortable. Today, I was comfortable until the final couple holes, but this is a great start.”
DANA FINKELSTEIN WITH BACK-TO-BACK TOP FIVES: Dana Finkelstein (Chadler, Ariz.) turned in a
bogey-free 4-under 67 on Sunday to finish in a tie for fourth. Last week at the W.B. Mason Championship, she finished in a tie for third.
Finkelstein moved from 11th to 9th on the new Volvik Race for the Card money list. She now has three top 10 finishes as a rookie on Tour.