Sarah Schmelzel shines in hometown event at LPGA Founders Cup


PHOENIX – Sarah Schmelzel, who was the Arizona high school state champion in 2011, shot an opening-round 67 at the LPGA Bank of Hope Founders Cup in her hometown of Phoenix.

Schmelzel carded six birdies and a bogey at the Wildfire Golf Course at JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa on Thursday. She posted birdies on Nos. 2, 5, 7, 11, 12 and 13. She bogeyed the 15th hole.

Schmelzel played high school golf at area powerhouse Xavier Prep Academy, about 16 miles away from Wildfire. Alums of Xavier include Heather Farr, Missy Farr, Grace Park, Amanda Blumenherst, Cheyenne Woods and Hannah O’Sullivan, all of whom won (at least one) Arizona high school state title.

Schmelzel played collegiately at South Carolina, where she was named a Golfweek All-America Honorable Mention her senior season (2015-16).

She is playing her first two rounds with Dana Finkelstein, who played at nearby Corona del Sol High School before going to UNLV.

Schmelzel’s 5-under round puts her two back of the lead, held by Charlotte Thomas. This is her third LPGA start this season, which includes a missed cut and T-52. She had seven top-10s on the Symetra Tour in 2018, including four top-5s in her final five events of the season.

Xavier Prep golf
Members of the 2009 Xavier College Preparatory golf team pose at Phoenix Country Club on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2009. The team was junior Kaira Martin, sophomore Sarah Schmelzel, senior Katerina Ruzickova, junior Daffodil Sanchez and senior Sierra Sanchez. (Photo: USA TODAY Network)
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