Charles Schwab Challenge

Colonial Country Club

The Loop

Who's the most dominant player in pro golf? Try a 23-year-old on the Symetra Tour


©2016 Scott A. Miller

The consistently strong play required to separate a golfer from his or her peers makes real dominance in the game rare, no matter the level of competition. That’s why Madelene Sagstrom deserves any accolades she gets—and more—for setting the Symetra Tour’s single-season earnings mark on Saturday with a second-place finish at the Gosling’s Dark ‘n Stormy Classic in Milton, Ga.

In seven starts on the LPGA-owned developmental tour, the 23-year-old from Sweden has two wins and six top-fives. The stretch has made her the first Symetra player to earn more than $100,000 in a season.

Sagstrom’s feat is particularly impressive considering the previous single-season record-holder, Cindy LaCrosse, took 15 starts in 2010 to earn her $93,107. Before LaCrosse, Vicky Hurst had the record with $88,386 in 13 starts in 2008.

Another way to appreciate Sagstrom’s performance? The No. 2 player on the Volvik Race for the Card money list, Samantha Richdale, has earned only $32,220. That’s $70,961 less than Sagstrom. In other words, you could triple what Richdale has made this year, and she’s still be second on the money list by more than $6,500.

Sagstrom’s past hinted such play was possible. She was a four-year All-American at LSU, winning SEC player-of-the-year honors as a senior in 2015.

“I’m really proud to have reached the record and thankful that the Symetra Tour has improved so much during the last several years so that we’re able to beat all kinds of records,” said Sagstrom.

Her combination of power and touch—she leads the tour in driving distance (277.29 yard average) and is third in putting (28.73 per round)—bodes well when she makes the jump to the LPGA Tour in 2017, if not sooner.

A third Symetra win in any of the tour’s remaining 15 events sends Sagstrom to the big leagues immediately. We’re guess that wouldn’t disappoint her current rivals all that much.