Savannah Vilaubi Gets Her First Pro Win

(Photos: @savannahvilaubi/Instagram)

The second-to-last tournament of the 2015 Cactus Tour schedule concluded on Tuesday, Oct. 27, and it crowned a first-time winner: Savannah Vilaubi.

Vilaubi not only won for the first time since turning pro, but she did so by posting a career-best 64 in the final round. That is gettin' it done.

Savannah posted scores of 70, 72 and 64 to win the tournament, finishing at 10-under 206. That 64 included a birdie on the final hole, and she needed it: She beat runner-up Spencer Heller by a single stroke. In a post on Instagram afterward, Savannah wrote:

"Gratitude over anything is what I'm feeling right now, but vomiting from the nerves is a close second ... I shot a new career low of 64 to come from 4 strokes behind and get the win! I'm so thankful for the beautiful girls I got to meet and play with this tournament. The camaraderie I've experienced on the Cactus Tour is so wonderful and such a blessing to be around. I'm so thankful for the support team that's behind me including family, friends, coaches, @gbelts, and everyone else who's sent a positive thought my way."

Vilaubi turned pro earlier in 2015 after concluding her collegiate career at UC Riverside by becoming the first golfer from that school to play her way in the NCAA Women's Championship. In her senior season for the Highlanders, Savannah had five Top 10 finishes in nine starts and was named to the All-Conference team. She improved her scoring average each of her four years at UCR, lowered her personal best 54-hole scores the last two years, and set the school scoring record of 67 in her final season.

Catching Up With Brandi Seymour

What ever happened to Brandi Seymour? You might remember her - we certainly do - for her time on camera at the Golf Channel.

But Brandi's golf roots go back to her youth in Torrance, Calif., playing Western States Golf Association junior tournaments. She did well enough to earn a golf scholarship to Oregon State University. And Seymour graduated from OSU in 1999 with a degree in communications.

After her college golf career ended, Brandi went home to Southern California and went to work in the public relations field. But after a while, that just wasn't cutting it.

“My main thing, a couple years after I got out of school, was ‘How do I get back into golf?’" Seymour told the Corvallis Gazette-Times in a 2005 article.

She got back into golf by getting hired at the Golf Channel. That was in 2002, and Brandi started at the network behind-the-scenes as an associate producer for spotting and scoring.

What does that job entail?

"Knowing where all the significant action is on the golf course, where we have cameras, knowing the players' hitting order, knowing timing and selling the Senior Producer the best options for the next live shot," Brandi told Golf Babes, "as well as coordinating with the replay producer to cover anything we might not get to live."

Soon the network had Brandi hosting taped lifestyle features about the golfers, and before long she was handling post-round interviews on live broadcasts as well as producuing player features.

Brandi was a familiar and welcome face on the Golf Channel's Tour (then known as the Nationwide Tour) broadcasts, and also took part in many LPGA broadcasts.

But she left the Golf Channel in 2008, and left golf broadcasting, too.

So where is Brandi Seymour today? She went home again, leaving Florida (where Golf Channel is headquartered) for Southern California, and Seymour now works in the entertainment industry.

"I absolutely loved my time at Golf Channel but left to return to Los Angeles and have a life off the road after many years," Brandi told

Seymour went to work on the production side of a television pilot which, alas, never aired (hey, that's Hollywood).

But she soon landed a gig at one of the top entertainment design companies in L.A. as a project manager.

"I collaborated with studio marketing executives in creating campaigns for Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures, The Weinstein Company and The Los Angeles Opera. Eventually I was promoted to the position of Account Executive for our Home Entertainment/multi-media division. Working directly with clients and creative staff, we create campaigns for theatrical, home entertainment and multi-media buys."

She also works at supporting charitable foundations such as The Bridge Golf Foundation, The First Tee of South Los Angeles and Midnight Mission.

And golf? Does Brandi still play?

"Now, I play golf about twice a month or a little less with either clients, in charity events, or with friends," Brandi told us. "I have always enjoyed practicing so when I don't have time to play, I still tinker with my swing. I like to put the headphones on and zone out."

Nelly Korda Wins Stage II of LPGA Q-School

The second stage of the LPGA's 2015 Q-School is over and the winner is 17-year-old amateur Nelly Korda. Korda finished one stroke ahead of runner-up Grace Na at 3-under 284. She carded rounds of 75, 70, 70 and 69.

The Top 80 finishers in Stage II move on to the final stage of 2015 Q-School, which takes place Nov. 30-Dec. 6. And Korda will be there.

Nelly can remain an amateur if she does not earn her tour card at the final stage, a nice option to have. But if she makes it through, well, hello pro career.

The answer to that question, of course, is yes. Nelly is the younger sister of LPGA winner Jessica Korda. And in fact, the sisters pulled off quite the feat just a couple weeks ago: They recorded wins on back-to-back days. Jessica Korda won the LPGA Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia on Oct. 11, 2015. The next day, Nelly won the AJGA Ping Invitational.

And the Ping Invitational is one of the biggies in junior golf. Nelly didn't just win that tournament, she dominated, winning by 11 shots.

Korda is currently ranked No. 4 in the Polo junior rankings and she's having an exceptional year. She won in June at the Yani Tseng Invitational; was runner-up at the Rolex Girls Junior Championship; and has multiple other Top 6 finishes in AJGA tournaments.

And Nelly began 2015 with a huge victory in the Harder Hall Women’s Invitational. In Golfweek's rankings, Nelly is No. 45 among amateur women worldwide, and No. 3 among junior girls.

(Photos: @nellykorda/Instagram)

Maria Rodriguez is a 'Model' Golfer

You've probably already "met" Maria Rodriguez, even if you don't realize it. She's the golfer behind a viral Instagram video that's been making the rounds recently, including being featured by Golf Digest. Here is that video:

Things you can do with a big butt and a good golf swing ��⛳️ @nanimerchi

A video posted by @marirodriguez on

Maria Rodriguez is the one hitting the shot; her University of South Florida teammate Maria Merchan is the one whose booty is the "tee." (Is that brave, or nuts? Kids - don't try this at home!)

Rodriguez is in her junior season as a member of the USF women's golf team. She's originally from Cali, Colombia, but moved to Florida to attend high school at the IMG Academy. Her brother Carlos plays on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica.

Maria didn't make the tournament day roster as a freshman, but last season was a breakout one for her and she made the roster in all nine of South Florida's tournaments. Maria had 5 Top 25 finishes, including two in the Top 10, with a best finish of second place at the Florida Challenge.

And if you look at her Instagram page beyond the video she posted that's currently getting so much attention, you'll learn something else about Maria: She's a model. Or at least she's working at being a model. And if that's what she wants, then these photos she's shared on Instagram say she has a great chance to make her mark in that realm, too:

In addition to her Instagram page linked above, you can follow Maria on Twitter or check out her website.

Rachael McQueen

Rachael McQueen got some bad news earlier this year when visa issues meant she wouldn't be able to continue working as a PGA instructor at the Golf House Tennessee Learning Center (run by the Tennessee Golf Association). So she packed her bags and headed home to Troon, Scotland.

"I loved living in Nashville and I miss my friends so much," Rachael told us.

But this change also presented an opportunity. Rachael was spending so much time working on other golfers' games that she hadn't spent much time on her own. Going home meant being able to concentrate on her own game.

"It's been great being home and finally pursuing my dream to be on tour," McQueen said. In Tennessee, working as an instructor, she "found it difficult to juggle working and practicing. Now I'm able to focus fully on my own game."

That renewed focus on her own game means that Rachael is entering Ladies European Tour Q-School late this year.

And an old friend has helped her out with a taste of tour life. McQueen's good friend Carly Booth brought her out on tour as her caddie in several LET tournaments. "She took me to France to help give me an insight into what it was like on the European tour," said McQueen.

That combo prompted us to tweet that Rachael and Carly made up the "hottest tour player/caddie combo .... ever!"

"Carly and I have been best friends for about nine years so we go way back," Rachael told us. "It's been great catching up and playing golf with her again. She is so supportive of me going to tour school and keeps telling me to hurry up and get my butt on tour so we can travel together."

Rachael took a somewhat unusual path into golf, given that none of her immediate family are golfers (although her uncle was Scottish Boys champion way back when) and she didn't take up the game until she was 14.

"The Open Championship came to Troon in 2004 and I just fell in love with the sport," she said.

But although Rachael picked up the sport late, she took to it quickly. Before long she was Ayshire County champion, and she was a Scottish Girls international in 2008. She graduated from the golf management and coaching program at Elmwood College in Scotland, then first came to the United States to play golf at McLennan Community College in Waco, Texas. After two seasons as an NJCAA All-American, McQueen took a job teaching golf as an Assistant Golf Professional at Golf House Tennessee.

And next up for Rachael: LET Q-School, pre-qualifying mid-December and final qualifying Dec. 18-21.

You can follow Rachael on Twitter (@rachmcqueen) or Instagram (@rachmcqueen).

It's a Go for Brianna Do and 9 Other Symetra Tour Grads

The 2015 Symetra Tour schedule finished on Sunday at the Symetra Tour Championship, after which the Top 10 players in the final money list standings were awarded their LPGA Tour cards for next year.

Congrats to these members of the Symetra Tour's "graduating class" of 2015:

1. Annie Park, $68,673
2. Giulia Molinaro, $68,632
3. Brianna Do, $64,877
4. Daniela Iacobelli, $62,692
5. Dani Holmqvist, $62,160
6. Lee Lopez, $61,731
7. Alejandra Llaneza, $61,289
8. Vicky Hurst, $57,814
9. Casey Grice, $55,621
10. Rachel Rohanna, $53,867

I want to point out what Brianna Do managed to do: This woman is clutch.

Two tournaments before season's end, Do was on the outside looking in. She stood at 18th on the money list. If Brianna finished there, it would have exempted her into the final stage of LPGA Q-School.

But who wants to play Q-School? Nobody! So Brianna did something about it.

With just two weeks to go to get into the Top 10, Do finished second at the IOA Golf Classic. She earned $9,342 and moved up from 18th to 12th position. Still two places to go, though.

And at the season-ending tour championship? Another second-place finish for Do. That earned her $13,840 and bumped her from 12th all way into her final position of third on the money list.

Hello, LPGA Tour card.

Brianna had four other Top 10s on the year, including another runner-up earlier in the season.

Brianna played on the American team at the 2007 Junior Solheim Cup and was a 3-time AJGA All-American as a junior golfer. While at UCLA (Lee Lopez, sixth on the money list, is also a Bruin), Do won the 2011 U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship.

She turned pro in 2012. And following three full years of seasoning on the Symetra Tour, Brianna is LPGA-bound in 2016.

Congrats to all 10 graduates. See you next year on the LPGA. Read more about the Symetra Tour's 2015 graduates here.