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Madeleine Sheils wins first Symetra Tour title

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) — Madeleine Sheils won the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship by two strokes Sunday for her first Symetra Tour title.

Sheils birdied two of the last four holes for a bogey-free 4-under 68 and a 10-under 206 total at Battle Creek Country Club.

“It feels absolutely amazing,” Sheils said. “I’m still a little bit in shock, though. I think this one will take a little bit to set in, but the emotions outside the scoring tent were relief, excitement, shock and just pure joy.”

The 25-year-old former University of Nebraska player from Boise, Idaho, earned $15,000 to jump from 24th to 10th on the money list with $26,356. The final top 10 will earn 2016 LPGA Tour cards.

“Every dollar helps, so $15,000 definitely helps,” Sheils said. “There is a lot of season left and this is something I can build on.”

Lindy Duncan and Katelyn Sepmoree tied for second. Duncan finished with a 68, and Sepmoree had a 71.

South Korea’s Jacey Chun was third at 7 under after a 71. Playing alongside Sheils, Chun blew a three-stroke lead on the back nine. She had a double bogey, three bogeys and a birdie on the final seven holes.

Sheils took the lead with a birdie on No. 15. Chun made a double bogey for a three-stroke swing.

“Jacey had played so well on the day and she was 5 under and I was down four shots through 11 holes,” Sheils said. “I got to 15 and it was downwind and firm on a long par-5 and I hit this awesome 3-wood onto the green in two shots and two-putted for birdie, so that was a huge swing in momentum.”

Sheils made a 25-foot birdie putt on the par-4 17th.

“That was huge,” Sheils said. “I was probably a little unconscious at that point. I saw my spot, pictured it rolling in and then it did. It was the perfect putt at the perfect time.”

Sheils is the second player from Idaho to win on the tour. Janell Howland, also from Boise and now the women’s golf coach at North Carolina-Greensboro, won the 2007 Louisiana Pelican Classic.

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