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Watch: Stephanie Meadow holes huge birdie putt to keep card as Leona Maguire joins LPGA Tour

Stephanie Meadow was celebrating after the Volunteers of America Classic last night.
Stephanie Meadow was celebrating after the Volunteers of America Classic last night.
Gareth Hanna

By Gareth Hanna

'Clutch'. It's one of those relatively new entries into the big book of golfing slang.

It has made it into google's dictionary section as an 'informal' word, used in a sporting context and with the definition; 'denoting or occurring at a critical situation in which the outcome of a game or competition is at stake'.

On the 18th green at the Volunteers of America Classic, there was more than one game, more than one competition at stake.

So when Stephanie Meadow looked down on her putter for her season-defining 25-foot birdie attempt, it was, what, 'super clutch'?

Hole it and the Jordanstown woman's LPGA Tour card was safe for next season. Miss and it was cheerio to full playing rights.

Over to the putter:

It had taken a super Sunday display to put her back into contention for the top eight finish she required. An opening round eight under 63 had put her well in contention but 71 and 73 on Friday and Saturday had harmed her chances.

Three under for Sunday through 14, she was back in the game but after bogey at 15, it became apparent that two birdies could well be required.

When her eagle putt rolled out just inches short on the 17th, it set up that grandstand finish, which lifted Meadow up from 112th to 99th in the tour rankings, crucially inside the top 100 that retain their cards.

It marks a delightful end to the 2019 season for Meadow, who won the inaugural ISPS Handa World Invitational at Galgorm in August.

It means Meadow will join fellow Ulster star Leona Maguire on the Tour next season. Earlier on Sunday, the Cavan girl had cruised up to the top tier of US golf when she carded a final round 71 and finished 33rd at the Symetra Tour Championship.

It was enough to secure a fifth place finish in the Race for the Card rankings, which has 10 positions available.

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