For Morgane Metraux, the biggest goal in 2021 is crystal clear: earn her LPGA card.
The 24-year-old Swiss player currently ranks fourth on the Symetra Tour money list thanks to a maiden victory last month at the Island Resort Championship in Harris, Michigan. That triumph actually earned Metraux an exemption into the Amundi Evian Championship in France, fulfilling a lifelong dream for a player who grew up just across Lake Geneva in Lausanne, Switzerland.
It also presented a tough decision as Metraux also qualified for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, which take place Aug. 4-7 at Kasumigaseki Country Club.
“I basically had to make a choice between Evian and Olympics,” said Metraux, who didn’t think she could afford to miss that many weeks on the Symetra Tour to compete in both.
Ultimately, Metraux chose the Evian and backed out of the Olympics, leaving Albane Valenzuela as the lone player representing Switzerland. Ladies European Tour player Tonje Daffinrud of Norway replaced Metraux in the Tokyo field.
“It was honestly tough to say no,” said Metraux. “It feels like I could regret it one day, but at the same time right now it’s what I needed to do.”
Morgane Metraux (courtesy Symetra Tour/Alison Palma)
Metraux, who played with older sister Kim at Florida State, started attending the Evian – her first professional event – in elementary school with a group of girls shortly after taking up the game. She wasn’t good enough or old enough at the time to even realize who she was watching, she was simply excited to watch women compete.
There’s a hat covered in signatures back home in her room. It has faded a bit since then, but she can still make out the names of Morgan Pressel, Ai Miyazato, Natalie Gulbis and Paula Creamer.
Qualifying for Evian fulfills a lifelong dream, and Metraux plans to head back home after this week’s Symetra stop in French Lick, Indiana, to prepare.
“For me that’s a priority because it’s just an hour away from where I grew up,” she said.
Metraux came from three back with a closing 67 to win on the Symetra Tour the same day former FSU teammate Matilda Castren, who will compete in Tokyo representing Finland, won on the LPGA. Metraux won three times at Florida State; Castren won a school-record seven.
“I kind of won first because of the time change,” said Metraux, “that was really fun to do the same week. It just gives me that much more confidence that I can do it, too.”
In 2019, Metraux suffered a shoulder injury that kept her away from the game for 10 months. The pain started in mid-February as she was prepping for the Symetra Tour season and lasted until the fall. When she came back, she’d lost distance, too. It took nearly two years, she said, to be completely gone.
In 2020, Metraux competed some on the Ladies European Tour, where sister Kim currently plays.
There are nine events left on the Symetra Tour this season. Metraux will miss two of them to compete in the Evian. In addition to her victory in Michigan, Metraux also finished runner-up at the Casino Del Sol Golf Classic in April. A total of 10 players will earn LPGA cards for the 2022 season.
As Metraux preps for Evian, she also has her sights set on 2024, when the Olympics return in Paris, though she knows that much can change in the span of three years.
“I’m really hoping to make it next time,” she said.